Nigerian army: 338 Boko Haram captives rescued

It said it raided a number of the Islamist militant group’s camps on the edge of its stronghold in the northeast’s Sambisa forest.


The army said troops carried out the successful raid on the camps at the northeastern villages of Bulajilin and Manawashe, along the Bita and Damboa road. Reuters was unable to independently verify the details of the military statement.

Those rescued included eight males, 138 females and 192 children who have been evacuated, military spokesman Sani Usman said. He added that 30 suspected militants had been killed.

Photographs shared on Nigeria Defence Headquarters’ Facebook and Twitter pages showed what were said to be dead militants, captured assault rifles and boxes.

One photograph showed what were said to be over a dozen freed Boko Haram captives.

Suspected members of the militant group, which has killed thousands and displaced 2.1 million people in the remote northeast of Africa’s most populous nation, claimed the lives of at least 37 people and wounded 107 others last week in Adamawa and Borno states.

The vast Sambisa forest reserve, the group’s remaining stronghold, has become hard to penetrate due to widespread landmines laid by the militant group.

In the last few months the military has ramped up its offensive into the Sambisa and surrounding areas with air strikes and an increase in ground troops.

Security sources in neighbouring Niger on Wednesday blamed Boko Haram for the deaths of at least 14 people in an overnight attack on a village in the southeast of the country.