Nigeria moves Boko Haram prisoners to relief camp | News | DW | 03.05.2015
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Nigeria moves Boko Haram prisoners to relief camp

Nigeria has moved 275 women and children to a relief camp days after a rescue from Boko Haram's stronghold, according to a state-run emergency agency. Several prisoners were killed by militants during the rescue.

On Sunday, Nigeria moved 275 women and children rescued from Boko Haram last week to a refugee camp after an ordeal that left them traumatized and malnourished. They went to the camp in Yola for profiling, counseling and rehabilitation.

Muhammad Sani Sidi, head of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said his department had made arrangements for counseling and other assistance. Sani Datti, a spokesman for NEMA, told news agency AFP that some of the women and children had sustained injuries in the rescue operation.

"Eight women and 15 children have been taken to the hospital for treatment for injuries they sustained during the rescue operation," Datti told AFP on Sunday. "Most of them looked tired and traumatized," Datti added. "They were unkempt. From their looks they haven't had a bath for days."

Officials don't believe that the 700 hostages freed last week - of 2,000 believed held - included any of the 219 girls captured in April 2014 from a school in the town of Chibok. The mass kidnapping prompted global outrage and forced President Goodluck Jonathan to accept international help in the search operation.

Jonathan, who hands over power to former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, has come under severe criticism for not doing enough to secure the release of the Chibok girls as well as end the six-year Boko Haram insurgency, which has claimed about 15,000 lives and forced at least 1.5 million people to flee their homes.

'Shooting indiscriminately'

Some of the rescued women reported that Boko Haram killed several prisoners during last week's military rescue operations in the Sambisa Forest, stoning them to death. Others were killed by stray bullets fired by the military, erratic driving by militants and landmines.

In a separate statement, a community leader said gunmen wearing the anti-terrorist Special Task Force uniform had killed dozens of people in villages in Nigeria's central-eastern Plateau state. The agency admitted an operation in the area but denied targeting civilians.

"The soldiers were shooting indiscriminately" during the attack on Saturday, said community leader Nanzing Bani from Kardarko, one of the villages targeted. He told news agency dpa that people had run toward the police station for help but soldiers had shot them.

Nigerians have regularly accused the military of attacking civilians.

mkg/cmk (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

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