Nigerian soldiers had Monday rescued over 1200 captives in Borno border communities after a heavy gun battle at a local market where Boko Haram insurgents go to trade every week, officials and witnesses said.
The insurgents had held captive more than 2000 villagers from various communities around the border areas of Borno state for more than two years running.
Soldiers acting on a tip off by local security operatives stormed Boboshe village where the insurgents usually converge every Monday to trade. The insurgents who mostly go to the market armed began to exchange fire with the soldiers.
The soldiers had the day as more than a hundred corpses of the insurgents were gathered at the end of the battle.
After the victory in Boboshe, soldiers moved into Garindawaji and Mamawarhi communities where over one thousand civilians were being held captives to set them free. Many women of ages 30 and 18 were among the rescued.
Falmata Kalli, who is in her early 30s, said Boko Haram gunmen took her away from Marte village about two years ago after they had killed her husband.
She now had a baby out of a pregnancy she got while being sexually abused by Boko Haram insurgents.
“I saw them kill my husband by shooting him”, said Falmata. “After that, they dragged me away with them, my two children were left with my aged mother in-law, but I don’t know what becomes of them now: it has been two years now since they attacked our town, Marte.”
In tears she looked at her one year old child and said “I got him while being in the captivity of Boko Haram terrorists…I cant say who his father is, honestly; but he comes out of me and he is my child, I must love and care for him even though I will never forgive those that did this to me.”
Deputy Governor of Borno State, Usman Mamman Durkwa on Tuesday visited Dikwa border town where the rescued villagers were being camped by soldiers.
Soldiers in Dikwa briefed the deputy governor that most of the villagers had been under the captivity of the insurgents for nearly two years.
The deputy governor who went to the border town with luxury buses ordered that the rescued persons be immediately conveyed to Maiduguri where they would be accommodated in some of the IDP camps.