On Monday, the Nigerian Army says it has freed 178 people, mostly women and children, from the clutches of Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. The army raided a Boko Haram stronghold in Borno State on Sunday, the main staging area for the clashes in the African nation.
In a report from the AFP, a statement issued by the Nigerian military detailed the success of the operation that freed 101 women, 67 women, and 10 men. The forces raided a camp near Aulari, which rests around 40 miles south of Maiduguri, which the extremists counted as a main base for their violent operations. The army was able to capture a high-ranking commander in their ongoing operations to stamp out Boko Haram.
“During the offensive operations, 178 people held captive by the terrorists were rescued. They include 101 children, 67 women and 10 men,” military spokesman Colonel Tukur Gusau said.
The Nigerian military has announced the release of hundreds of people held by Boko Haram in recent months, many of them in the vast Sambisa forest, a longtime bastion of the Islamist group.
“The military operation… will continue until the terrorists are totally subdued. For now, we have besieged the forest and military operations are going on from different fronts,” army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman told AFP.
He said the freed hostages were being screened and processed and would be reunited with their families after further security checks.
Nigerian authorities are beginning to make gains against the rebel forces, and last week freed a total of 71 people from two camps in Borno State.