Africa

Nigeria claims to have freed 1,890 Boko Haram captives

Military says a mixture of regular troops and special forces have freed hostages

Rafiu Oriyomi Ajakaye   | 26.02.2016
Nigeria claims to have freed 1,890 Boko Haram captives

Nigeria

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS, Nigeria

Nigeria’s military has said almost 1,900 Boko Haram captives have been freed in the last two weeks as troops intensify rescue operations in the country's northeast.

Army spokesman Sani Usman said in a statement released on Friday that the figure, comprising mostly children, includes 250 hostages freed today.

The army spokesman said 17 women and 28 children were also freed from Nigeria-Cameroon border villages on Thursday.

He also said a mixture of regular troops and special forces “rescued 350 people, including five Cameroonian girls that were held hostage by the Boko Haram terrorists in those areas," according to the statement.

The army also said it intercepted 3,000 internally displaced Nigerians crossing from Cameroon back into the country.

Nigeria insists it has decimated the militant group and is only at the "mop-up" stage of the counterinsurgency when it is rescuing and resettling people abducted by Boko Haram across the region.

Many analysts fault this claim, arguing instead that the group remains active and dangerous even though its capacity for seizing territory appears to have been degraded.

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