The Nigerian military has rescued 25 more children and women from Boko Haram as part of its ongoing campaign to attack and destroy the armed group’s camps in the northeast.
Army Spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, said many Boko Haram fighters were killed in a gun battle yesterday morning.
One soldier was killed and five others were wounded, Usman said.
About 700 children and women have been rescued in the past week as soldiers supported by air raids have deployed on foot into the Sambisa Forest, the last stronghold of Nigeria’s home-grown armed group.
Last week the army said they rescued 293 girls and women from the forest.
It is unclear if those rescued include some of the schoolgirls kidnapped a year ago from Chibok town. Some 219 remain missing.
According to human rights group Amnesty International, more than 5,500 civilians have been killed and more than 1.5 million people, including 800,000 children, have fled their homes due to the violence in the country’s northeast.
Boko Haram, designated by the US as a “terrorist” organization, has been fighting since 2009 to establish sharia law in all 36 states of Nigeria, which is roughly equally divided between a mainly Christian south and a largely Muslim north.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 6,000 Nigerians dislodged from Islands on Lake Chad have returned home through Geidam, Yobe.
Air Commodore Charles Otegbade, Director Search and Rescue, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), stated this yesterday in Geidam.
The director said Nigerien authorities relocated inhabitants of the Islands to pave way for military operations against insurgency in the area.
He said NEMA, along with security operatives, was profiling the returnees for onward transportation to their states.
“We are arranging transport to take them to their states or preferred locations because the camp in Geidam is temporary.
“The returnees are mostly from Taraba, Benue, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi and Borno states, who were fishermen and displaced persons taking refuge on the Islands.