BORNO STATE, Nigeria (Christian Examiner) – In a raid on two Boko Haram camps on Tuesday, the Nigerian army liberated 241 women and children and arrested dozens of the terrorist group leaders, as well as a high-ranking commander named Bulama Modu.
The army's public relations director, Col. Sani Usman, told Punch, a Nigerian newspaper, army special forces cleared two Boko Haram camps outside Jangurori and Bulatori villages.
Many terrorists were seized attempting to escape or bury their weapons.
"The troops have also arrested 43 suspected Boko Haram terrorists including one of the Boko Haram kingpins in the area, Bulama Modu, who is an 'Amir' of Bulakuri," Usman said.
However, none of the rescued women and children was one of the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram from their boarding school in Chibok last April.
SCHOOLGIRLS MISSING FOR 500 DAYS
To remember the abducted girls, women—including some mothers of missing daughters—marched through the capital of Nigeria, wearing red ribbons. It has been more than 500 days since the girls' abduction from their boarding school, and over 200 of them are still missing.
According to CNN, Boko Haram has shown increased activity in northeast Nigeria, crossing the border into Cameroon to fatally shoot 30 and injure 145, and riding into a nearby Nigerian village to fatally shoot 68. Bombs they planted in the state capital killed 54. These numbers are only since the beginning of Sept.
Boko Haram, which means "Western education is forbidden," has sought to impose Sharia law on Nigeria since 2002. It has been responsible for the deaths of 15,500 people since 2012, according to BBC.
In August, Samuel Dali told CBN News Boko Haram has killed 8,000 members, or 70 percent, of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria of which he is president. More than 100 of the Chibok girls were also from his church.
Parents of abducted girls and human rights organizations have been lobbying for the Nigerian government to take action to recover those that Boko Haram has kidnapped since 2014—an estimated 2,000, according to Amnesty International.
All transportation, including vehicles and animals, has been banned in Borno State through Friday to prevent a retaliatory Boko Haram attack during a Muslim holiday.
Since his election in May, President Muhammadu Buhari has taken action to reclaim some Boko Haram territory, as in this week's army raids on the two terrorist camps. The militant group's activity this month is likely a response to the new administration.
This has given some hope to the families of those who have been kidnapped, especially the families of the girls from Chibok.
Although some of the girls have allegedly been sighted, the majority have not been recovered. Shortly after the abduction, they appeared in a video reciting from the Koran and were said to be married to Boko Haram soldiers.
Usman's statement said only, "The troops also rescued 241 women and children during the operation," without specifying where the victims were from or what state they were in.