Up to 300 unidentified females have been rescued by Nigerian troops in the northeast Sambisa forest, following a daring and precise operation on Tuesday.
National Defence spokesperson Major General Chris Olukolade said he could not confirm the identity of the freed victims and their origins.
The spokesperson added that he could not state if any were from Chibok, until after thorough screening and proper investigations.
“I can only confirm the rescue this afternoon of 200 girls and 93 women in different camps in the forest. We are yet to determine their origin as all the freed persons are now being screened and profiled,” he said.
Olukolade added that at least three major terrorist camps have been destroyed in the well-coordinated attacks that include the destruction of the notorious Boko Haram’s Tokumbere camp in the Sambisa forest.
About 300 schoolgirls were abducted from the remote Nigerian town of Chibok a year ago. Dozens of the girls escaped but 219 remain missing.
The kidnapping provoked international outrage, but the majority are still missing despite Western pledges to help track them down and a Chadian attempt to broker their release.
Nigeria’s President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to make every effort to free the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram militants a year ago, but admitted it was not clear whether they would ever be found.
Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, claims the girls had been “married off” to his fighters.
Boko Haram Islamic militants have kidnapped at least 2000 girls and women since the start of 2014, turning them into cooks, sex slaves and fighters, and sometimes killing those who refused to comply.
About 800 000 children have been forced to flee fighting, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The number of children absent from primary school in Nigeria has increased from eight million in 2007 to 10.5 million – the highest figure in the world, the world’s leading organization for children said. – SAnews.gov.za-Xinhua
Source : SAnews.gov.za