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Nigeria: 800 Boko Haram members have surrendered since mid-March

By
Ed Adamczyk
The Nigerian army, seen here in combat maneuvers, reported that 800 Boko Haram insurgents surrendered and nearly 12,000 of its captives have been freed in recent weeks. Photo courtesy of Nigerian Army/Facebook
The Nigerian army, seen here in combat maneuvers, reported that 800 Boko Haram insurgents surrendered and nearly 12,000 of its captives have been freed in recent weeks. Photo courtesy of Nigerian Army/Facebook

ABUJA, Nigeria, April 7 (UPI) -- Nigeria's army said 800 Boko Haram insurgents have surrendered to the military in the past three weeks and nearly 12,000 captives have been rescued.

Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, Nigeria's defense Information spokesman, announced the figures Wednesday.

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Nigeria, with help from a military bloc of neighboring countries, has been effective this year in reclaiming territory in northeastern Nigeria captured by Boko Haram, a radical Islamist group with ties to the Islamic State. The campaign against Boko Haram, a prime undertaking of the Nigerian government elected in 2015, has reduced the group to isolated hit-and-run attacks and suicide missions, the army has said.

Abubakar added that the army freed 11,595 Boko Haram captives across Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon in the past month, in village-by-village operations.

The announcement came a day after a statement regarding the formation of a rehabilitation camp Tuesday for Boko Haram members prepared to renounce the group. Former insurgents will obtain vocational training and will be reintegrated into Nigerian society.

Despite its decline in strength in Nigeria, Boko Haram released a video last week pledging its continued support of the Islamic State. This followed a prior video, released March 24 but of doubtful authenticity, of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau speaking on the topic of Islam.

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