Menu

Nigerian army rescues 200 girls, 93 women

Nigerian Internally Displaced Persons who fled areas of conflict waged by Boko Haram Islamic militants carry food supplies on their heads as they walk away from a special prayer session for the abducted Chibok girls held at St Theresa Catholic Cathedral in Jimeta, Yola, in Adamawa State, Nigeria, last week. Islamic militant group Boko Haram who have been waging a war of terror in Nigeria for more than five years kidnapped more than 220 girls last year with many of them still remaining missing. EPA/STR

Nigerian Internally Displaced Persons who fled areas of conflict waged by Boko Haram Islamic militants carry food supplies on their heads as they walk away from a special prayer session for the abducted Chibok girls held at St Theresa Catholic Cathedral in Jimeta, Yola, in Adamawa State, Nigeria, last week. Islamic militant group Boko Haram who have been waging a war of terror in Nigeria for more than five years kidnapped more than 220 girls last year with many of them still remaining missing. EPA/STR

Abuja [AFP]

Nigeria’s military is claiming the rescue of 200 girls and 93 women from a notorious Boko Haram stronghold, but there is no confirmation the hostages are those kidnapped from Chibok a year ago.

‘Troops have captured and destroyed three camps of terrorists inside the Sambisa forest and rescued 200 girls and 93 women,’ defence spokesman Chris Olukolade said in a text message, referring to the area in northeast Borno state where the Islamists have bases.

‘It is not yet confirmed if the girls are the Chibok girls. The freed persons are now being screened and profiled.’

Olukolade gave no indication as to how long it would take for the hostages to be identified.

Boko Haram claimed the abduction of 276 girls from a secondary school in Chibok, also in Borno, on April 14 of last year.

Fifty-seven girls escaped within hours of the attack but 219 remained in captivity.

In the weeks following the mass abduction, Nigerian security sources and locals in Borno said there were indications the girls had been taken to the Sambisa Forest.

But defence officials and experts agreed that they were likely separated over the last 13 months, casting significant doubt on the possibility that they were being held together as a group.

Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, vowed to ‘marry them off’ or sell them as ‘slaves.’

The Chibok attack brought unprecedented world attention to the Nigeria’s Islamist uprising.

Celebrities and prominent personalities including US First Lady Michelle Obama joined the Twitter campaign #BringBackOurGirls that attracted supporters worldwide.

But Boko Haram has also been blamed for hundreds of other kidnappings, especially targeting women and girls across northeast Nigeria.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsor, Ballina Byron Gateway Airport.