Nigerian army rescues 234 women and children from Boko Haram

Nigerian army rescues 234 women and children from Boko Haram

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Nigerian troops have freed another 234 women and children from Boko Haram’s stronghold in the Sambisa forest, the military said.

The defence headquarters said the hostages were rescued on Thursday through the Kawuri and Konduga end of the forest.

About 500 women and children have already been rescued in the past few days.

“They have been evacuated to join others at the place of ongoing screening,” the military said on Friday.

It said: “the assault on the forest is continuing from various fronts and efforts are concentrated on rescuing hostages of civilians and destroying all terrorist camps and facilities in the forest”.

In a tweet, the Nigerian military wrote that around 234 women and children were rescued through the Kawuri and Konduga end of the #Sambisa Forest on Thursday.”

It said the freed hostages were being screened to establish their identities.

However, it was still not clear if any of the 219 girls snatched in April 2014 from their school in the north-eastern town of Chibok were among the freed hostages.

The military said they were still screening the freed hostages with a view to establishing their identities.

The military had pledged to free more hostages from the Islamists after hundreds were rescued this week.

Nigerian military announced on Thursday about 160 hostages had been rescued from Sambisa in addition to 200 girls and 93 women freed on Tuesday. The military earlier said it had destroyed 13 camps belonging to the Islamist insurgents in the Sambisa forest, which surrounds a reserve in Borno.

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The numbers underlined the scale of the tactic of mass abduction used by Boko Haram, which according to Amnesty International has seized about 2,000 women and girls since the start of last year.

Thousands have been killed in northern Nigeria since Boko Haram began its insurgency in 2009 to create an Islamic state.

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