Nigeria’s president said Saturday that his forces had crushed the notorious Boko Haram extremist group and driven them out of their forest encampment, but have yet to locate scores of Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the militants in 2014.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s victorious announcement Saturday also indicated Nigerian forces need to remain vigilant to fight off individual suicide bombings, village attacks and assaults on remote military outposts by remnants of the homegrown Islamic extremist group.
Still, Buhari’s announcement expressed relief that army and security forces had broken the back of the organization. He said Nigeria’s “gallant troops” on Friday drove the insurgents out of their “Camp Zero” deep in the northeastern Sambisa Forest.
The forest is believed to hold more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram from a school in the town of Chibok. The mass abductions sparked international outcry, and prompted the social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls.
“Further efforts should be intensified to locate and free our remaining Chibok girls still in captivity,” he said. “May God be with them.”
Nigerian troops have freed thousands of Boko Haram captives this year, including some of the Chibok girls among 276 seized from a government boarding school.
In October, 21 Chibok girls were freed through negotiations between the government and Boko Haram, brokered by the Swiss government and the International Red Cross. In May, one Chibok girl escaped on her own.
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SOURCE: USA Today