After more than a year as prisoners of Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremists, the female captives — women, girls, and their children — were on the verge of being rescued by the Nigerian military when the members of the Boko Haram began stoning them to death.
According to the Associated Press, more than 677 girls and women were rescued over the past week as the Nigerian military destroyed dozens of insurgent camps hiding in the woods. Unfortunately, not all of the women and children could be saved.
Those who were rescued were taken to an old deserted school, known as the Malkohi refugee camp. It lies near Yola, the capital of northeastern Adamawa state, as reported by CBS News. Among those rescued is the thankful 27-year-old Lami Musa, who had just given birth to her baby girl five days ago.
“We just have to give praise to God that we are alive, those of us who have survived,” she admits to the Associated Press.
While obtaining medical treatment for her injuries, Musa opened up to Associated Press about the many horrific events that transpired as the rescue mission was on the cusp of their freedom.
“Boko Haram came and told us they were moving out and said that we should run away with them. But we said no. Then they started stoning us. I held my baby to my stomach and doubled over to protect her.”
Musa and another survivor of the stoning, Salamatu Bulama, said there were many that were killed, but they did not know how many.
As if the stoning were horrible enough, Bulama revealed that some women were hiding in some bushes nearby waiting to be rescued. As the Nigerian soldiers approached in their armored vehicle, they did not see the women hiding in the brush, and consequently ran over them, crushing them to death, as reported by CBS News.
At least three others were killed by stray bullets, Bulama tells as she sobs. Thinking of all the death is almost too much for her to bear, as she lost her one and only toddler son as malnutrition caused him to become fatally ill. She discovered that her husband is still alive, but is worried about telling him about their little boy.
The father of Musa’s newborn daughter was killed at the time of her abduction by the Boko Haram. She does not know the fate of their other three children.
While it has seemed like an overwhelming losing battle for the Nigerian military against the Boko Haram extremists, things have taken a turn over the course of the last couple of months. Associated Press reveals this is mainly due to the increased armory, helicopter gunships, and a coalition with neighboring countries who are now helping the Nigerian military.
[Photo Credit: CBSNews.com]