Chadian soldiers rescue Nigerian Boko Haram hostages

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

85 Nigerian villagers, members of a group Nigerian officials said they believed kidnapped by militant extremist group Boko Haram earlier this month, were reported on Friday to have been freed by Chadian soldiers, as they and their captors tried to cross the border near Lake Chad. File:Logo of Boko Haram.svg

Logo of Boko Haram
Image: ArnoldPlaton.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

CNN reported over a hundred captives had been abducted during a Boko Haram attack on a village by Lake Chad on the night of Sunday to Monday last week. Captives were forced onto buses, before the convoy was stopped by the Chadian military as it was trying to cross the border, where the large number of people aroused suspicion. Other captives were transported away by speedboat and were not rescued.

Founded as a political movement in 2002, Boko Haram seek to create an Islamic country in Northern Nigeria, where the Nigerian military have been engaged in operations aimed at removing the extremists since 2009. In this time, thousands of people have been killed in the fighting, and hundreds are reported to have been kidnapped in both Nigeria and across the border in Cameroon. Many of those kidnapped are believed by authorities to be either forced to fight for Boko Haram, or used as sex slaves.

The violence in the region has intensified this year, with Amnesty International saying over 4,000 people have been killed since January, compared to the 3,600 estimated casualties in the four years previously. While most of the fighting is in North-Eastern Nigeria, Boko Haram have also launched attacks in Abuja, the Nigerian capital; and in Lagos, the country's commercial centre in the South-West.