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Nigerian Army Rescues Hundreds of Hostages from Boko Haram

The Nigerian army has rescued 350 hostages, who had been held captive from several months to several years, from Boko Haram captivity in the Sambisa Forest, a known hideout for the extremist group. The hostages, who appeared exhausted and in worn-out clothes, were presented to authorities in Borno State, where the hideout is also located. They included 209 children, 135 women, and 6 men. Many female victims had children, some of whom were born from forced relations with the terrorists. One of the hostages, Hajara Umara, had seven children. She explained that it was difficult to escape with her children. The rescue operation came after heavy fighting that saw many of the extremists killed and their makeshift homes destroyed. Boko Haram, which began its insurgency in 2009, has killed at least 35,000 people and displaced 2.1 million, according to U.N. agencies.