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Girls & Women

Nigeria’s Army Just Rescued 1,000 Hostages From Boko Haram’s Grasp

The Nigerian army recently rescued 1,000 hostages who had been abducted by or forced to join Boko Haram militant fighters, it announced on Monday.

Most of the recovered captives were women and children, Nigerian military spokesman Texas Chukwu told CNN in a statement, though the freed group also included some young men who had been forced into the fight.

Take Action: Stop Sexual Violence in Conflict and Emergencies for the Yazidi Community

Boko Haram — whose name roughly translates to “Western education is a sin” — caught international attention in 2014, when the militant group abducted 276 girls from their boarding school in the town of Chibok, Nigeria. While many of the girls have since been rescued or released, approximately 100 are still missing, according to Al Jazeera.

Over the last nine years, Boko Haram has kidnapped thousands of girls and women, whom the militant group commonly force to marry fighters or become fighters themselves. According to UNICEF, Boko Haram is responsible for the abduction of more than 1,000 children in the last five years alone.

Read more: Millions of Children In Emergencies Are Denied an Education. But That Can Change.

And more than 20,000 people have died in the nearly decade-long conflict between Nigerian forces and the extremist group.

The rescued hostages are currently receiving medical treatment, Chukwu said. Ultimately, the survivors will be rehabilitated and returned to society. Those who were forced to bear arms will undergo an additional rehabilitative process before reintegrating into their communities, Al Jazeera reported.

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