Cameroon’s army claims to have killed 100 Boko Haram terrorists and freed 900 hostages over the weekend. The multinational task force conducted a three-day raid in the Sambisa Forest.
Cameroonian troops, along with the regional anti-Boko Haram task force, claim to have killed at least 100 Boko Haram militants. In the weekend raid, the army managed to free about 900 people who were being held hostage by the terrorist organization, reported the Daily Post. There are reports that indicate the army arrested over 100 Boko Haram extremists last week.
Cameroon’s army and defense ministry confirmed the news, through its spokesperson Colonel Didier Badjeck.
“In the course of this operation, at least 100 members of Boko Haram were killed. Nine hundred hostages detained by Boko Haram were freed.”
Cameroon’s army wasn’t the only group that participated in one of the largest military exercises against Boko Haram. The country’s troops worked in conjunction with those from Nigeria, Chad, and Benin. The joint task force raided a Boko Haram outpost in the Sambisa Forest, which straddles northeastern Nigeria and Cameroon, and the Lake Chad area, reported Fox News.
Defense Minister Joseph Beti Assomo read a statement on national radio.
“A special clean-up operation from November 26 to 28 against Boko Haram in the border area with Nigeria neutralized more than 100 jihadists.”
Besides killing the Boko Haram militants, the military also arrested quite a few of the group’s members, one of whom is believed to a group leader of Boko Haram’s strongholds in the Sambisa Forest. The rescued hostages are being identified. Once the identification process is completed, they will be escorted to their families in the villages. Government spokesperson Issa Tchiroma Bakary added that extreme care is being taken to handle the hostages, many of whom were in captivity for quite some time. He added that trauma care will be extended for those who need it, reported Military.
Boko Haram is infamous for sexually exploiting young females. Bakary mentioned such females will be extended support and care. Besides sexual abuse, Boko Haram routinely uses young girls as suicide bombers. The group straps bombs on them and sends them into crowded places. While technically they can be referred to as suicide bombers, it is the Boko Haram operatives who remotely detonate the explosives. In the past, the group has targeted crowded marketplaces in the region.
Those rescued revealed the terrorist organization was training them to execute dangerous tasks. While many were brainwashed to become suicide bombers, others were trained to become fighters. The group was also training a few to become thieves.
Rescue missions like these are being conducted by Nigeria, Cameroon, and other countries in which Boko Haram is active. The terror group usually operates from deep within jungles, which makes missions like these extremely difficult. The army’s commandos have to be wary not just of the Boko Haram, but the group’s informants who are planted within the villages.
Within just six years, Boko Haram is believed to have killed about 20,000 people and displaced 2.3 million from their homes, according to Amnesty International and the United Nations.
Despite the success of the mission, Cameroon’s army couldn’t find the 219 schoolgirls who were kidnapped from a school in Chibok town in 2014. It was this mass abduction that sparked international outrage and even toppled a Nigerian government for failing to rescue them.
Boko Haram recently pledged its alliance to ISIS, a much bigger terror organization. While the world is bombarding Syria, Boko Haram has been increasingly targeting innocent civilians in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. These countries have now pooled their military resources to counter Boko Haram atrocities.
[Photo by Pius Utomi Ekpei/Getty Images]