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The first group of nearly 300 Nigerian girls and women released from Boko Haram were brought by the military to the safety of a refugee camp in the country's northeast Saturday evening.
More than 677 females have been released this week, as the Nigerian military continues its campaign to push the Islamic extremists out their last remaining strongholds in the Sambisa Forest.
As darkness fell in this dusty part of Yola, a convoy of armed vehicles brought the women and young children crammed into the open backs of trucks to a school that has been turned into a refugee camp for people displaced by Boko Haram.
The women had been traveling for three days from the forest where the military says it rescued them from captivity by the extremists. Looking bewildered, some even in shock, the freed women and children lined up for tea and a stew of baobab leaves. Many of the babies had just rags for clothes. The military will turn the care of the women and children over to the National Emergency Management Agency.
Lami Musa, 27, was holding her four-day old baby. She said she was abducted by Boko Haram five months ago from Lassa village. "The father of this child was killed by Boko Haram," said Musa. "I don't know where my three other children are."
Musa was trying to breastfeed her newborn but she said "there is no milk." An eight-year-old girl had a bullet wound in her left buttock and was also taken to the clinic. Many of those arriving will be treated for malaria and malnutrition, said Dr Mohammed Auwal.
It is still not known if any of the females are the schoolgirls kidnapped from a boarding school in Chibok town a year ago — a mass kidnapping that outraged much of the world.
- Another 'Large Group' rescued From Boko Haram, Nigeria Says
- Nigeria Claims It Freed 200 Girls Held by Terrorists