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Tue, Aug 29, 2023 11:00 PM

Nigerian Security Forces Rescue Dozens Held by Extremists in Borno State

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Nigerian Security Forces Rescue Dozens Held by Extremists in Borno State
Nigerian security forces have successfully rescued a group of captives, primarily women and children, who were held by Islamic extremist rebels in Borno state. The rescue operations took place in Gwoza district, a region heavily affected by the ongoing insurgency led by Boko Haram. The captives, most of them malnourished and wearing worn-out clothes, are now in the custody of the troops.

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) -- Nigerian security forces have rescued dozens of captives, primarily women and children, who were held by Islamic extremist rebels in the country's hard-hit northeastern region, the army confirmed on Monday. The operation was carried out in Borno state's Gwoza district, a known stronghold of the jihadi violence that has plagued the region since 2009 when the Boko Haram insurgency began.

The Nigerian army reported that a total of 25 captives were rescued during the ongoing "clearance operations" conducted by its troops. The first group of 14 captives was freed on Saturday in Gobara village, followed by the rescue of 11 additional captives on Sunday during a raid on a rebel hideout in Gava village. Both villages lie approximately 130 kilometers (80 miles) from the state capital, Maiduguri.

Army spokesman Onyema Nwachukwu shared images of the rescued hostages, showcasing the dire conditions they had endured in captivity. Many of them appeared malnourished and were dressed in tattered clothing, indicating prolonged periods of captivity in harsh conditions.

"All rescued victims are presently in the custody of the troops undergoing profiling," Nwachukwu stated. He emphasized that these operations were part of the "unrelenting efforts to clear remnants of Boko Haram terrorists' enclaves" not only in Borno but also in other affected states.

In a separate operation, seven members of a "Boko Haram terrorist family" voluntarily surrendered to the troops on Sunday. The group included three adults and four children, highlighting the complex dynamics of the insurgency and its impact on families in the region.

Boko Haram, which loosely translates to "Western education is a sin" in the local Hausa language, initiated its insurgency in 2009 with the aim of imposing Islamic Shariah law in Nigeria. Since then, the group has splintered into different factions, with the most powerful faction backed by the Islamic State. Boko Haram's targets have often included women, children, and security forces, particularly in remote areas of northeastern Nigeria. The violence has also spilled over into neighboring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.

The extent of the damage caused by the Boko Haram insurgency is staggering, with at least 35,000 people killed and 2.1 million people displaced, according to figures provided by U.N. agencies in Nigeria. The persistent violence and displacement have severely disrupted lives and livelihoods in the region.

The recent success in rescuing these captives highlights the ongoing efforts of Nigerian security forces to combat the extremist violence and bring relief to the affected communities. However, challenges remain, and the authorities must continue their endeavors to fully dismantle the remaining enclaves of the extremist groups while addressing the root causes of the insurgency.

These actions should also be complemented by efforts to provide humanitarian aid, support, and rehabilitation to the victims of Boko Haram, particularly the women and children who have suffered the most. Only through a comprehensive approach can Nigeria hope to rebuild and heal the wounds inflicted by years of terror and violence.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-29 News

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