THE Nigerian Army said yesterday that no fewer than 11, 595 civilians held at various enclaves by Boko Haram had been rescued. This came as troops intensified efforts to clear and mop up all insurgent activities in the North East.
The army said the rescue operations were carried out within the past six weeks, noting that women and young children who had been caught in the Boko Haram crossfire regained their freedom and settled temporarily in camps for internally displaced persons, IDPs.
“In continuation of the clearance and mopping up operations of the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists in various parts of the North East geo-political region, troops have rescued no fewer than 11,595 persons held hostage by the terrorists within the last one month,” the army said in a statement signed by the Acting a Director of Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, yesterday.
The military explained that the rescue operations were carried out by different military outposts across the region and a significant number of them were received from Cameroonian authorities.
Usman said: “On March 1, 2016, troops of 155 Task Force Battalion received 10,000 refugees from the Republic of Cameroon at Banki and Bama axis. “Two days later, Army Headquarters Special Forces (AHQ SF) Battalion also rescued 63 persons held captives by terrorists at Maleri.
The same unit on 5th March 2016 rescued 779 persons at Fotokol general area, a border town between Nigeria and Cameroon. “Within the first week of March 2016, the 254 Task Force Battalion also rescued 45 persons at Kuaguru, while 143 Battalion similarly rescued 27 persons at Gadayamo,15 at Galadadani Dam in Madagali and 10 persons from Disa village.
‘’On March 11, 2016, troops of 231 Battalion and Armed Forces Strike Force (AFSF) also rescued seven persons held captives by Boko Haram terrorists at Betso village; 5 of whom were elderly women and 2 young girls.”