This Week Nigerian Troops Freed 500 Captured Girls kidnapped by Boko Haram

This Week Nigerian Troops Freed 500 Captured Girls kidnapped by Boko Haram
Fri May 1, 2015 14:32:23

The Nigerian army has freed another 160 female hostages from a Boko Haram stronghold in the north-east, taking the total number liberated this week to nearly 500.

The army has previously denied that any of the freed hostages were some of the 219 girls snatched from Chibok last year, but the Nigerian defence headquarters has said it is too early to rule this out.

Some of the women are too traumatised to speak of their experience and many of the hostages have yet to be screened to determine their identity.

Boko Haram is led by Abubakar Shekau who pledge allegiance to ISIS

This comes just two days after some 200 girls and 93 women were freed from the militant terrorists’s 'headquarters', in the Sambisa Forest, a former colonial game reserve.

The numbers underlined the scale of the tactic of mass abduction used by the militants, who according to Amnesty International have seized about 2,000 women and girls since the start of last year.

Amnesty's Africa director for research and advocacy, Netsanet Belay, said the rescues were a 'cause for celebration' but he warned: 'This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Nigerian soldiers man a check point in Gwoza, Nigeria, a town newly liberated from Boko Haram

Female former hostages have described being subjected to forced labour, sexual and psychological abuse as well as having to fight on the frontline alongside the rebels, with some so transformed by their captivity that they opened fire on their rescuers.

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