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Nigerian army: 178 freed from Boko Haram

The captives included 101 children.

By Ed Adamczyk
Nigerian army: 178 freed from Boko Haram
Nigerian soldiers freed 178 captives held by Boko Haram, the army announced. Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org/ Paul Caron.

ABUJA, Nigeria, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- The Nigerian army announced it freed 178 captives of Boko Haram near the town of Bama, Nigeria.

A statement Sunday said 101 children, 67 women and 10 men were rescued. It remains unknown if any were among the 219 school girls captured in Chibok by Boko Haram in a 2014 incident which sparked international outrage. A Boko Haram commander was captured and several of the Islamist militants' camps were cleared, Col. Tukur Gusau of the Nigerian army said.

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The army has made significant gains against Boko Haram in norther Nigeria in recent months. Newly-inaugurated President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to eradicate the group, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and is attempting to build a Muslim caliphate of its own in Nigeria.

Boko Haram has killed about 5,500 civilians in Nigeria since 2014 and over 12,000 since 2012. Human rights activists Amnesty International has claimed at least 2,000 women and children have been abducted since the start of 2014. The violence has overflowed into neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

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