Nigerian troops have rescued 200 girls and 93 women from camps in the Sambisa Forest, including the Tokumbere camp, a Boko Haram stronghold. The Nigerian Defence HQ Twitter account announced the information, though hours later confirmed the girls were not the same ones kidnapped from Chibok, Nigeria, in April 2014, reports the Associated Press.
"I can only confirm the rescued this afternoon of 200 girls and 93 women in different camps in the forest," Director of Defense Information Major Gen. Chris Olukolade told the Daily Post Nigeria. "We are yet to determine their origin, as all the freed persons are now being screened and profiled. Please don't misquote me on their origin. We will provide more details later."
In a phone interview with CNN, Olukolade said the operation, which happened Tuesday afternoon, was still ongoing and had been targeted "against all terrorist activities and camps located in that forest." He added that the mission was to "comb the forest [...] and fish out all the terrorists that could be in hiding."
Last Wednesday, Nigerian troops were forced to abort an operation against Boko Haram because of explosives the group planted in the forest, military sources told CNN. Soldiers were able to successfully reenter the forest Monday and carry out the operation Tuesday.
Boko Haram has roamed northern Nigeria carrying out abductions and other acts of terrorism with impunity in recent years. The failure of outgoing Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to rein in their activities may have contributed to his defeat in Nigeria's presidential elections in March. During the vote, members of the group killed dozens of people in an attempt to disrupt the election.
This is developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.