29 Apr 2015

Nigerian army rescues girls

11:42 am on 29 April 2015

Schoolgirls abducted from their dormitories by Boko Haram militants last year are not among the nearly 300 girls and women rescued in a Nigerian army operation, the military says.

Nigerian forces have recently retaken territory previously under the control of Boko Haram.

Nigerian forces have recently retaken territory previously under the control of Boko Haram. Photo: AFP

The military said it had rescued 200 girls and 93 women from an area where the Islamist group is active.

They were freed during operations ending in the seizure of four Boko Haram camps in the Sambisa Forest.

Weapons were also seized at the camps which were taken in the latest operation, the military said.

However, it said the girls abducted from a school in Chibok in April 2014 were not among them.

Earlier this month rallies were held around the world including in Nigeria's capital, Abuja to mark on year since the girls' kidnap.

Children take part in a demonstration in Abuja on 14 April, marking one year since the abduction of 219 schoolgirls.

Children take part in a demonstration in Abuja on 14 April, marking one year since the abduction. Photo: AFP

In recent months Nigerian security forces have taken back most of the territory previously under the control of Boko Haram, the BBC reports.

Last October the government said it had secured an agreement for a ceasefire and the release of the girls taken from Chibok, but Boko Haram subsequently denied this.

The abduction of the girls in Chibok sparked global outrage with many joining a campaign online to free them using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Several nations including the US and China vowed to help find them and there have been reported sightings of the girls, but none has been found to date.

Boko Haram's insurgency, and the army campaign against it, have killed more than 15,500 people since 2012. The violence has recently spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

- BBC

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