Nigeria Says It’s Rescued Nearly 300 Women and Girls From Boko Haram


Two-hundred girls and 93 women have been rescued from a Boko Haram stronghold in the Sambisa Forest, the Nigerian Armed Forces said Tuesday. They could not immediately confirm if the girls rescued were among those captured in Chibok last year—TIME is reporting that, indeed, they are not—however, writing on Twitter, the NAF said only, “the freed persons are now being screened and profiled. We will bring you details later.”

In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped more than 250 girls from the Chibok boarding school in northern Nigeria, sparking global outrage and the social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls. Dozens of the girls have escaped since their capture—telling of horrors including rape and forced marriage—while the rest have remained in captivity.

Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group whose name in the local Housa language translates loosely to “Western education is forbidden,” has terrorized northern Nigeria with bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings since 2009 and recently pledged allegiance to ISIS. According to an Amnesty International report released this month, Boko Haram has kidnapped more than 2,000 women and girls since the beginning of 2014 and has killed at least 5,500 civilians.

 

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