Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Top News
Top News

Hundreds Of Boko Haram Hostages Rescued From Forest Enclave

Chibok schoolgirls freed from Boko Haram captivity are seen in Abuja, Nigeria, Sunday May 7, 2017. Seven years after Boko Haram extremists abducted more than 270 schoolgirls in northeast Nigeri

In a significant breakthrough, the Nigerian army has successfully rescued 350 hostages, including children, women, and men, who were held captive by Boko Haram extremists in the Sambisa Forest in northeastern Nigeria. The hostages, who had been enduring months or even years of captivity, were presented to authorities in Borno state by a senior Nigerian army officer.

The rescued individuals, consisting of 209 children, 135 women, and six men, were visibly exhausted and dressed in worn-out clothes. Shockingly, some of the girls were found with babies, believed to be born from forced marriages that are common among female victims of the extremist group.

One of the rescued hostages, a woman named Hajara Umara, shared her harrowing experience, revealing that attempts to escape were thwarted due to the presence of children. She described the brutal consequences faced by those caught trying to flee, including torture and indefinite imprisonment.

The operation to free the hostages was part of a dayslong military effort in the Sambisa Forest, a notorious stronghold of Boko Haram. The forest, once a vibrant reserve, now serves as a base for the extremist group to launch attacks not only in Nigeria but also in neighboring Cameroon and Niger.

Following their rescue, the hostages were transported to the Borno state government house, where they will receive care and support before returning to their homes. The army reported that some extremists were killed during the operation, and their hideouts were destroyed.

Boko Haram, known for its violent insurgency since 2009, aims to establish Islamic Shariah law in Nigeria. The conflict has resulted in the deaths of at least 35,000 people and the displacement of 2.1 million individuals, according to U.N. agencies.

Notably, the abduction of schoolchildren has been a recurring tragedy in Nigeria, with over 1,400 students taken since the infamous 2014 kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok. Recent abductions have been concentrated in the conflict-affected northwestern and central regions, where various armed groups target civilians for ransom.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.