293 women and girls have been rescued from Boko Haram terrorists.

On an otherwise bleak news day, this positive story is so very welcome.

Nigerian military have rescued hundreds of female hostages held by radical Islamist group Boko Haram.

A total of 200 girls and 93 women were rescued from a Boko Haram stronghold when the military captured three insurgent camps inside the Sambisa Forest, a defence spokesperson announced on Twitter

“Troops have this afternoon captured and destroyed three camps of terrorists inside the Sambisa Forest and rescued 200 girls and 93 women,” the military spokesperson said.

Related content: Video footage claims to show abducted Nigerian school girls.

The girls rescued today are still to be screened and identified, but ABC News reports an army spokesperson said they were not the girls taken from Chibok in April last year.

The staggering rescue operation raises questions about exactly how many women and girls have been kidnapped that are not reported.

One official did not rule out that captives from other raided Boko Haram camps might include some of the 219 missing Chibok girls.

More: It has been 365 heart-wrenching days since these schoolgirls were taken. #BringBackOurGirls

Al Jazeera reports the Nigerian military have not ruled out the possibility some of the girls are from Chibok and are planning to release photos and more information of the women and girls rescued.

“What we understand is that there is a screening process to find out where they are from,” journalist Yvonne Ndege said.

“We managed to speak to Nigeria’s military spokesman who believes some of the women are wives of Boko Haram fighters, and the military is not ruling out the possibility that some are from the Chibok school.”


The abduction of 276 school girls from Chibok last year spurred a global campaign to Bring Back Our Girls“.

While 59 escaped shortly after their abduction, 219 remained in the hands of Boko Haram — a militant Islamic terrorist organisation operation in Nigeria.

Shortly after the mass abduction the girls were taken to the Sambisa Forest, but Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau vowed to marry them off or sell them as slaves.

Related content: Heroic: Abducted Nigerian schoolgirls return to school.

According to Al Jazeera, Chibok community leader Pogu Bitrus said locals were desperately trying to verify the identify of the rescued females.

“We are trying to verify if there are Chibok girls among them,” he said.

“We are working hard to verify… All we know is this number have been rescued.”

Boko Haram has allegedly kidnapped around 2,000 girls and women since early 2014, including almost 300 schoolgirls from Chibok in north-eastern Nigeria last April.

Many of the terrorist organisation’s hostages have forced into sex slavery and trained to fight. Some have even been used as suicide bombers.

The recent progress made by the Nigerian military is encouraging, but according to Amnesty International statistics there are still more than a thousand hostages to be freed from the clutches of Boko Haram.

Our thoughts are with those hostages and their families. May they return home soon. #BringBackOurGirls

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