Army operation frees 1,600 from Boko Haram
The Nigerian army has freed over 1,600 persons from Boko Haram hideouts in the northeast region, killing at least 21 militants in the operation, the military announced.
Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Sani Usman said the operation late Monday followed a tip-off by residents that militants were holding them hostage in the Kala Balge area of Borno state.
“During the operation, the troops neutralized 21 Boko Haram terrorists and rescued 1,623 residents of Jarawa who were held captives by the terrorists,” said the statement, adding that various weapons were also seized.
“While advancing, the troops came under heavy fire at the village of Jarawa. The troops responded decisively and went on to clear the Deima, Artano, Saduguma, Duve, Bardo, Kala, Bok, Msherde and Ahirde settlements,” the army said.
Usman said the rescued persons, including dozens of children, were escorted to the Rann Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp, while all the children were vaccinated against various diseases, including polio.
Nigeria insists Boko Haram has been downgraded and no longer holds any territories, admitting however that the terrorist movement still occasionally strikes at targets using suicide bombers.