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Tuesday 17 October 2017

338 captives - nearly all children and women - rescued from Boko Haram camps

Some of the 338 people who were held by Boko Horom after they were rescued during an army operation and evacuated to Mubi. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Some of the 338 people who were held by Boko Horom after they were rescued during an army operation and evacuated to Mubi. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Ssome of the 338 people who were held by Boko Horom after they were rescued during an army operation and evacuated to Mubi. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Some of the 338 people who were held by Boko Horom after they were rescued during an army operation and evacuated to Mubi. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Weapons seized by Nigerian forces around Boko Haram's Sambisa forest stronghold in the restive northeast. Four suspected Boko Haram members on a suicide bombing mission to Gubula in the Madagali Local Government Area of the Adamawa State were killed during an ambush. PhotoAFP/Getty Images
Nigerian forces seizing a weapons cache around Boko Haram's Sambisa forest stronghold in the restive northeast. Reuters: AFP/Getty Images
The bodies of four suspected Boko Haram members after they were killed during an army operation around the Islamist group's Sambisa forest stronghold in the restive northeast. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Nigerian troops have rescued 338 captives, almost all children and women, from Boko Haram camps in a north-eastern forest.

Thirty extremists were killed on Tuesday in attacks on two camps on the fringes of the Islamic insurgents' holdout in Sambisa Forest, according to a Defence Headquarters statement.

Separately troops ambushed and killed four suspects on a bombing mission in north-eastern Adamawa state, it added.

Hundreds of people have died in suicide bombing attacks mainly targeting mosques and markets in recent months.

The military posted photographs of several guns and ammunition it said were seized in the attacks, along with images of bodies of alleged insurgents.

Nigerian troops have rescued hundreds of Boko Haram captives this year but none of the 219 girls kidnapped from a school in Chibok town.

Their mass abduction in April 2014 sparked international outrage against the extremists and Nigeria's government for failing to rescue them.

It highlighted military and government failures in fighting the six-year-old Islamic uprising that has killed an estimated 20,000 people and driven 2.3 million from their homes, according to Amnesty International and the United Nations.

Those failures and massive corruption led Nigerians to vote out president Goodluck Jonathan and elect former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari in March.

Earlier this year, troops from Nigeria and Chad forced Boko Haram out of a large swath of north-eastern Nigeria where Boko Haram, which is allied with Islamic State, had declared an Islamic caliphate.

Mr Buhari has promised to halt the uprising by December. Nigeria's home-grown extremist group has responded with a relentless campaign of suicide bombings in northern, north-eastern and central Nigeria, as well as in the neighbouring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

The deployment of a multinational force has been delayed without explanation for months.

Press Association

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