Nigeria: Army frees children, women from Insurgents den

Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters has said that its troops have freed a number of women, elderly and children locked up by fleeing terrorists in Gwoza. In a statement issued in Abuja by the Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen Chris Olukolade on Monday said that the hostages were rescued during a cordon and search, while mop-up operations would continue in Gwoza.

It said that the freed hostages, some of whom were weak, were being given medical attention while others were receiving necessary care, pending the arrival of aid agencies.

According to the statement, some of them were also providing useful information for troops operations in the area.

It added that a building, which had been converted to a bomb making factory had been uncovered by troops in the course of the ongoing mopping up operations in the town and that the facilities used for the manufacture of various calibres of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were still being carefully evacuated.

The defence spokesman said that “massive” destruction of infrastructure and property, including bridges and Emir’s Palace, had been noticeable and that the troops were carefully removing land mines placed in various parts of the town and that in Bama, troops on routine patrol in the suburbs of the town on Monday morning recovered a large number of rifles and other arms.

The statement said that the arms were believed to have been abandoned by terrorists who fled the area