Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Hundreds more girls and women rescued

Published:Saturday | May 2, 2015 | 11:09 PM

NIGERIA

(YOLA,)--Nigeria's military rescued 234 more girls and women from a Boko Haram forest stronghold in the country's northeast, an announcement on social media said yesterday.

It brings the number of females declared rescued this week to more than 677.

The army has deployed ground troops into Sambisa Forest after weeks of punishing air raids on the area.

"The assault on the forest is continuing from various fronts and efforts are concentrated on rescuing hostages of civilians and destroying all terrorist camps and facilities in the forest," said Defence Ministry spokesman Major General Chris Olukolade.

Sambisa Forest is the last holdout of the Islamic militants. President Goodluck Jonathan, whose term ends this month, pledged last Thursday to "hand over a Nigeria completely free of terrorist strongholds."

It is not known how many girls, women, boys and men Boko Haram has kidnapped during its nearly 6-year-old rebellion. Nigeria's army has reported rescuing only females.

It is also not known if any are the schoolgirls kidnapped from a boarding school in Chibok town a year ago -- a mass kidnapping that outraged much of the world.