Freed Nigerian women tell of Boko Haram horror
Reuters

Boko Haram fighters killed older boys and men in front of their families before taking women and children into the forest where many died of hunger and disease, freed captives said on Sunday after they were brought to a government refugee camp.

The Nigerian army rescued hundreds of women and children last week from the Islamist fighters in northern Nigeria's Sambisa Forest in a major operation that has turned international attention to the plight of hostages.

After days on the road in pickup trucks, hundreds were released on Sunday into the care of authorities at a refugee camp in the eastern town of Yola, to be fed and treated for injuries. They spoke to reporters for the first time.

"They didn't allow us to move an inch," said one of the freed women, Asabe Umaru, describing her captivity. "If you needed the toilet, they followed you. We were kept in one place. We were under bondage.

"We thank God to be alive today. We thank the Nigerian army for saving our lives," she added.

Two hundred and seventy-five women and children, some with heads or limbs in bandages, arrived in the camp late on Saturday.

Nearly 700 kidnap victims have been freed from the Islamist group's forest stronghold since Tuesday, with the latest group of 234 women and children liberated on Friday.

"When we saw the soldiers we raised our hands and shouted for help. Boko Haram who were guarding us started stoning us so we would follow them to another hideout, but we refused because we were sure the soldiers would rescue us," Umaru, a 24 year-old mother of two, told Reuters.

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