160 More Women, Girls Rescued From Boko Haram

Some are severely traumatized, indoctrinated
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2015 7:19 AM CDT
160 More Women, Girls Rescued From Boko Haram
Map shows location of Sambisa Forest Reserve, Nigeria   (Associated Press)

Another estimated 100 children and 60 women were rescued from Boko Haram yesterday, just a day after another rescue operation freed nearly 300. Nigerian troops ran the rescue operation in Sambisa Forest, during which one of the hostages and one soldier were killed, CNN reports. Troops are now working to destroy militant camps—they've hit nine so far—in the forest. "Many of those kidnapped have undergone psychological trauma and indoctrination," says an army spokesman—and indeed, some of the 293 women and girls rescued earlier in the week had been so indoctrinated by Boko Haram, they actually opened fire on their rescuers, the AP reports.

A counselor who has treated other Boko Haram hostages says this is not uncommon, and that hostages can also become attached to militants they are forced to marry. Experts say many of the rescued women and girls will need intensive psychological treatment. The Nigerian military earlier said the 293 women and girls rescued were not the "Chibok girls" taken more than a year ago, launching the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, but now the army spokesman says it's too early to tell who they are. "The processing is continuing, it involves a lot of things because most of them are traumatized and you have got to put them in a psychological frame of mind to extract information from them," he says. (More Nigeria stories.)

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