Nigeria troops free 90 after dislodging Boko Haram from villages
File picture released in July by the Nigerian Army shows a soldier inspecting weapons weized from Islamists Boko Haram fighters (AFP Photo/Nigerian Army)
Nigeria’s military said it had rescued 90 people, including women and children, after dislodging Boko Haram Islamists from two villages in the country’s restive northeast.
Acting army spokesman Sani Usman said in a statement that “troops rescued 23 men, 33 women and 34 children from the terrorists” on Thursday in the villages of Dissa and Balazala, which lie in the vicinity of the town of Gwoza in Borno state.
Gwoza was where Boko Haram declared its so-called caliphate last year before the strategic town was recaptured by government troops in March.
The military said it had reopened a primary school in the town which had been shut down because of the insurgency, and pledged to implement security measures to ensure the safety of pupils and teachers.
“The reopening of the combined primary school in Gwoza is significant as the eradication of Western education is part of the aims of Boko Haram in their murderous campaign of terror,” it said.
More than 200 girls abducted from their school in the northeastern town of Chibok in April of last year are still being held by the Islamists in a kidnapping that shocked the world.
The military also said it intercepted several Boko Haram fighters fleeing the battle zone disguised as internally displaced people.
In six years of bloodshed, the Boko Haram insurgency to carve out an Islamic state in northeast Nigeria has left at least 15,000 dead and left more than two million others homeless.
A regional force involving troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin is about to deploy to fight the extremists.
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