LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) – A joint operation by Cameroonian and Nigerian troops has resulted in the rescue of almost 1,300 captives from various Boko Haram camps in border villages around Nigeria’s Borno State, an army statement said on Tuesday.
Nigerian army spokesman Col. Sani Usman said that 22 militants were also killed in the operation on Monday while three top Boko Haram commanders were arrested.
“The apprehended terrorist commanders include Lawal Abba, Mallam Hisna and Mallam Gana in Shatte, Bulla Jaja and Bula Burra towns,” Usman said.
“The troops also rescued 1,275 persons held hostage by the terrorists. The rescued persons are being administered and screened by 152 Taskforce Battalion pending onward movement to an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp,” he added.
Both Cameroon and Nigeria are members of the Multi National Joint Task Force, a standing army recently raised from the Lake Chad region nations that also comprises Chad, Niger and Benin.
Although Nigeria has claimed technical victory over the militants, analysts insist Boko Haram remains a dangerous group capable of springing surprises, particularly using improvised explosive devices and suicide bombers.
UNICEF said in a statement earlier Tuesday that the number of children suicide bombers deployed by the group has risen by 10 fold since 2014, mostly targeting civilian populations across the restive region.
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