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Nigerian Army Says 338 Rescued from Boko Haram

  • VOA News

The Nigerian Army says its troops have rescued 338 people who were held captive by Boko Haram militants.

Army spokesman Sani Usman says a unit freed the captives Tuesday during a raid on suspected Boko Haram camps along the edges of the Sambisa Forest, a longtime militant stronghold, in northeast Nigeria.

The statement from Usman says eight men, 138 women, and 192 children were rescued and taken to the town of Mubi.

Boko Haram

  • Based in the northeastern city of Maiduguri
  • Self-proclaimed leader is Abubakar Shekau
  • Began in 2002 as a nonviolent Islamist splinter group
  • Launched uprising in 2009
  • Has killed tens of thousands since 2010
  • Boko Haram translates to "Western education is sinful"
  • Wants Nigeria to adopt strict Islamic law

There was no indication the "Chibok girls" kidnapped by Boko Haram from a school in April 2014 were among those freed.

Usman says the troops also killed 30 Boko Haram fighters and recovered some weapons and ammunition.

Nigeria's military has claimed a series of successes against Boko Haram, but the group continues to carry out deadly attacks.

People inspect a damaged mosque following an explosion in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Oct. 23, 2015. Boko Haram is suspected to be behind bombing.

People inspect a damaged mosque following an explosion in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Oct. 23, 2015. Boko Haram is suspected to be behind bombing.

On Friday, suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers killed 42 people in attacks on mosques in Maiduguri, the largest city in northeastern Nigeria, and in Yola, 400 kilometers to the south.

President Muhammadu Buhari has given his military commanders until December to end the insurgency, which has killed at least 17,000 people and displaced more than 2.5 million since 2009.

The militant group is attempting to create a hardline Islamic state in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria.

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