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.
ARMY RESCUES OVER 1000 BOKO HARAM CAPTIVES— Nigerian Army (@HQNigerianArmy) May 7, 2018
Troops of 22 Brigade deployed in operation LAFIYA DOLE has rescued over 1000 hostages from the Boko Haram Terrorists enclave.
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.
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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