Yaoundé, Cameroon: The Cameroon army on Wednesday stated that they had killed 100 Boko Haram fighters in a three-day operation last week, and even succeeded in freeing 900 hostages.
The far northern region of Cameroon is a major jihadi target since July, and had faced a twin-suicide attack on Tuesday. According to a new toll, at least six people died in the said attack in the town of Waza.
At least six people died in the suicide attacks, according to a new toll. The two bombers were women who took four lives when they detonated their explosives. Two more people later died from the injuries they suffered. A third suicide bomber was shot dead before he could blow up.
The victims were civilian vigilantes, who had been trained to protect Waza.
The statement added that the troop was able “to release almost 900 hostages, seize large supplies of arms and munitions as well as black-and-white Islamic State flags.” However, the identities of those freed were not released.
It was in March 2015 that the Boko Haram swore allegiance to IS.
The cooperation between the Cameroon security forces, which is a new multinational force set up mainly to fight the forces of the Boko Haram and the Nigerian army, was credited by the minister for the successful raid.
However, the region is not accessible to the media, and so, the statement could not be confirmed independently.
When reached through a phone call, security sources weren’t able to confirm the government-released figures, but they did agree that the raid took place.
Nigeria, September 21, 2017 : More than 100 ”Chibok girls” released by Boko Haram militants, have begun a new phase of their lives. They have started taking classes at the American University of Nigeria after months of rest and recovery under the care of the Nigerian government.
The girls had been expected to start at the university in the city of Yola early next month, and the government threw them a send-off party last week at their rehabilitation center in the capital, Abuja; but, the chairman of the Chibok parents’ association, Yakubu Nkeki, said the start date was moved up because the school year had already begun.
“I went with them to the school until they were handed over to the school authority,” Nkeki told VOA’s Hausa service on Tuesday. “Since the school has already started, it was decided that it is best for them to go straight to school so they don’t miss too many classes. They were already starting late.”
At the send-off party, the minister for women’s affairs and social development, Hajia Jummai Alhassan, said the girls will start remedial classes at AUN to prepare them for undergraduate studies in any field of their choice, to be paid for by the federal government.
AUN was already educating 24 girls who escaped Boko Haram shortly after the Islamist radical group, notorious for killing thousands of Nigerians, kidnapped more than 250 students from a secondary school in the Borno state town of Chibok in April 2014.
The abductions sparked worldwide outrage and a “Bring Back Our Girls” movement that gained supporters in the United States, including then-first lady Michelle Obama.
The girls who entered the university this week spent 30 to 37 months in Boko Haram captivity before the militants released them in two groups, in October 2016 and May 2017, following negotiations with the Nigerian government.
U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), an early supporter of Bring Back Our Girls, met the girls in Abuja shortly before they left the city and told VOA the former captives generally seemed to be in good shape; but, she said that according to the girls’ caretakers, this followed a long period of medical treatment and psychological therapy.
“Can you imagine being held captive with terrorists, men who frighten you every single day for three years? When you are released, you are not normal, your psyche is not too good. They had to debrief them and help them,” Wilson told VOA.
Wilson said she was told that some girls are also recovering from bullet wounds, machete wounds and snake bites.
Wilson said that contrary to some reports, the girls have seen their families since being released; but, she endorsed the government’s decision to keep the girls together in rehab instead of returning them to their homes.
“Because these girls had been together so long, to separate them would have traumatized them in my estimation. I think the decision to keep them together was the best thing they could have done,” she said.
More than 100 girls from Chibok remain in Boko Haram captivity, three-and-a-half years after they were taken.
At the send-off party, Women’s Affairs Minister Alhassan expressed optimism the rest of the girls will be freed.
“I assure you that by the grace of God, we will have our remaining girls released,” she said. (VOA)