Nigeria: hundreds of hostages rescued from a Boko Haram camp

Nigeria: hundreds of hostages rescued from a Boko Haram camp

Women and children have been rescued from a forest enclave and handed over to the authorities after years of being held hostage by Boko Haram terrorists in northeastern Nigeria.

The 350 hostages were being held in the Sambisa forest, a hideout of the extremist group that launched an insurgency in 2009, said Major General Ken Chigbu, a senior Nigerian army officer.

“The 209 children, 135 women and six men appeared exhausted in their worn-out clothes. Some of the girls had babies believed to have been born of forced marriages, as is often the case with female victims who are either raped or forced to marry militants while in captivity,” reports said.

The army said the hostages had been rescued during a day-long military operation in the Sambisa forest, which was once a bustling forest reserve stretching along the border with Cameroon and Niger.

“But now serves as an enclave from which Boko Haram and its splinter factions carry out attacks that also target people and security forces in neighboring countries,” reports said.

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