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May 19, 2024

Army storms Sambisa Forest, rescues 387 hostages

Kidnapping: Military are overstretched - Senate

Military personnel

By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri

Following intensive operations, the Nigeria Army has announced that troops of ‘Operation Hadin Kai’ North-East have rescued 387 hostages held in Sambisa Forest.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division and Commander Sector 1 OPHK, Brigadier General Abubakar Haruna, addressed the troops after receiving the hostages at Awulari River side of Konduga local government area of Borno state near Sambisa Forest at the week end.

According to General Haruna, “the rescue operation was conducted based on highly sensitive and valuable intelligence.”

He explained that the 387 rescued persons were civilians, including women and children, who were forced to stay in the forest by Boko Haram insurgents for over a decade ago, adding that the rescued ones were not members of the insurgents.

The military, he added, has also recovered weapons, emeralds, and other equipment from the insurgents, who initially seized them from soldiers and other security operatives.

He pointed out that during the operation, many Boko Haram fighters surrendered to the Army, while others are still surrendering.

“The clearance operation, named Operation Desert Sanity III, involved troops from the 21 Special Armoured Brigade, 26 Task Force Brigade (114 Battalion), and 199 Special Forces Battalion. They Conducted over 10 days Operation, it resulted in the recapture of major Boko Haram enclaves, including Uqba, Sabilul Huda, Lawanti, Njimia, and Iraqi, all in Sambisa Forest. Haruna stated.

The GOC further stressed that the operation will continue to ensure that all parts of the Sambisa Forest are safe, allowing farmers to access their farmlands and reducing criminality in the North-East region.

He commended the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, and the Theatre Commander Joint Task Force ‘Operation Hadin Kai’, Major General Waidi Shuaibu, for providing an enabling environment for the operation’s success.

he then urged the troops not to relent until all parts of Sambisa Forest are safe for Nigerians.

Most of the rescued victims who spoke to our Correspondent commend military for their sacrifices, which led to their rescue after many years in captivity.

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