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Nigerian Military Frees More Kidnapped Girls


Dr. Oby Ezekwesili expresses support about the rescue of some women and girls from Sambisa forest while a Nigerian protest group continues their sit-in about the girls that are still missing from Chibok, in Abuja, Nigeria, April 29, 2015.

Nigeria’s military said it has rescued an additional 234 women and children kidnapped by Boko Haram in the country’s northeast.

A military official says the latest rescue took place Thursday in the Sambisa forest.

A statement said, “This set (is) in addition to the previous individuals earlier rescued during the ongoing operation in the area.”

The military went on to say, “The assault on the forest is continuing from various fronts and efforts are concentrated on rescuing hostages . . . and destroying all terrorists camps and facilities in the forest.”

Earlier in the week, a similar size group was also rescued from the same forest. Several hundred girls and women are now reported to have been returned to safety in the past week.

It was not immediately clear whether any of the rescued females included students who were kidnapped from a boarding school in Chibok a year ago. That kidnapping captured the attention and outrage of much of the world and likely contributed to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s recent loss at the polls.

Jonathan, whose term ends this month, said the forest is the last holdout of the Islamic militants and has pledged to “hand over a Nigeria completely free of terrorist strongholds.”

The name Boko Haram means “Western education is sinful." Many of its female captives are used as sex slaves and human shields.