Boko haram frees 20 Cameroon hostages

About 20 of some 80 hostages taken by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in Cameroon at the weekend have been freed, the BBC reports.

Cameroon’s defence ministry said the hostages were freed “as defence forces pursued the attackers who were heading back to Nigeria”.

Many of those kidnapped in the cross-border raid were said to be children.

It was one of the biggest abductions by Boko Haram outside Nigeria and raised fears that it is expanding its attacks.

The militant Islamist group has seized control of towns and villages in north-east Nigeria and has begun threatening neighbouring countries.

Chad, which also borders Nigeria, has recently sent soldiers to help Cameroon tackle the militants.

The abductions took place in the villages of Maki and Mada near the city of Mokolo in Cameroon’s Far North region.

Cameroonian police and officials said the militants had arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning when it was still dark. Many of those seized were said to be women and children.

Before leaving, the attackers burned dozens of homes to the ground.

Boko Haram has killed an estimated 10,000 Nigerians since 2002 and caused to be internally displaced more than 1.5 million others.

The anti-Western education terrorist group has an estimated membership of at least 6000.
It recently, on January 3, 2015, killed, according to local reports, close to 2,000 people at Baga.

Nigeria’s defence ministry has, however, estimated the number of people killed to be not more than 150.

The terrorist group sacked the entire town during the attack. Some survivors fled to neighbouring Chad.

Last weekend, at least 23 people were killed by three female suicide bombers, one reported to be 10 years old.

In April 2014, the group kidnapped more than 270 schoolgirls in a village called Chibok.

Though some of the girls escaped to freedom, a lot more of them are still in captivity.

Apart from Chibok, several schools have been burnt and students burnt alive in towns and areas in the northeastern part of Nigeria by the terrorist group which is averse to any form of Western education.

ECOWAS Chair John Mahama has called for concerted continental efforts toward fighting the group.

Source: Ghana/StarrFMonline.com

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