Amina Ali Nkeki (L), one of the missing Chibok schoolgirls.jpg
Amina Ali Nkeki (L), one of the missing Chibok schoolgirls

Nigerian security forces have rescued 97 hostages, including a second "Chibok girl," and killed 35 members of the Boko Haram terror group that had been holding the hostages, a military spokesman said early Friday.

The operation to free the hostages, which included women and children, took place in the Sambisa Forest region in north-east Nigeria, Sani Usman said.

The Chibok Girl was one of 276 girls kidnapped more than two years ago by the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram from a school in the village of Chibok in the north-eastern state of Borno. More than 200 of the schoolgirls remain missing.

The first "Chibok girl" to be rescued was freed Monday. She and her year-old baby met Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in the capital Abuja Thursday.

Buhari was visibly delighted that Nkeki and her baby had been rescued, but expressed his sadness at the atrocities the young women had suffered.

"Although we cannot do anything to reverse the horrors of her past, federal government can and will do everything possible to ensure that the rest of her life takes a completely different course," the president said.

The 19-year-old, who is known by the names Amina Ali Nkeki and Falmata Mbalala, was airlifted Wednesday evening to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, according to Usman.

Buhari said Amina would receive the best care that the Nigerian government can afford.

"We will ensure that she gets the best medical, psychological, emotional and whatever other care she requires to make a full recovery and be reintegrated fully into society," he said.

Nkeki was accompanied to Maiduguri by a man alleged to be her husband, a Boko Haram fighter who surrendered and is currently being interrogated in Maiduguri, Usman said.

Most of the other abducted girls and young women are still being held in the north-eastern Sambisa forest, where Boko Haram is known to have secret camps, according to the young woman.

Only about 50 of the 276 girls - mostly aged 16 to 18 - abducted on April 14, 2014, managed to escape. Human rights organizations have said that Boko Haram uses women as sex slaves or in forced marriages to its fighters.

The terrorist group poses an ongoing threat to communities in north-eastern Nigeria and has also launched offensives in neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon. The group's goal is to enforce a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

Since 2009, at least 14,000 people have died at the hands of the Sunni fundamentalists in Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger. According to the United Nations, an estimated 2.7 million people in the region have fled their homes due to Boko Haram.

Related stories

Latest news

BASF sales down 18 per cent due to Gazprom asset swap

German chemicals giant BASF said Friday that its revenues decreased by 18 per cent, to 57.6 billion euros (60.9 billion dollars), in 2016, due mainly to a multibillion-euro asset swap with Gazprom, Russia's state-backed gas group.

New Delhi shocked at reports of Indian national dead in US shooting

India was in shock and dismay Friday at the news of the death of an Indian engineer in an alleged racially motivated killing in the United States earlier this week.

42 killed in car bombing in Syria's al-Bab, monitor says

At least 42 people are dead after a car bombing in Syria's northern city of al-Bab on Friday, a day after Turkish-backed rebels seized control of the city from the Islamic State extremist militia, a monitoring group reported.

Car bombing kills at least eight soldiers in Yemen

At least eight government soldiers died in a Friday car bombing in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan, a local security official said.

Report: FBI rejected White House request to deny Trump Russia links

The FBI declined a recent White House request to deny media reports about contact between campaign staff for US President Donald Trump and Russian intelligence before last year's election, CNN reported on Thursday.

Nearly 60% of lower secondary school pupils in EU studying more than one foreign language

Nearly 60 percent of lower secondary school pupils in the European Union studied more than one foreign language, the EU statistical office said.

Lethal nerve agent used to kill North Korean in Malaysia, police say

A nerve agent known as VX was used to kill Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother, in Malaysia last week, police said Friday.

Venezuela, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu lose UN vote over unpaid fees

Venezuela, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu are among six nations who have lost the right to vote at the United Nations General Assembly for not paying their compulsory annual contributions.

Alphabet's self-driving car company sues Uber over alleged theft

Alphabet's self-driving car company Waymo said Thursday it was suing Uber and its subsidiary Otto for allegedly stealing its technology and infringing its patents.

US, Mexico take "important steps" even as Trump voices indifference

Top US and Mexican diplomatic and security officials met on Thursday in Mexico City, as President Donald Trump in Washington expressed ambivalence about relations with the United States' southern neighbour.

US Supreme Court's Ginsberg emphasizes value of free press

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed optimism about the political future of the United States despite the polarized and combative political atmosphere that has marked the fledgling presidency of Donald Trump.

Top Trump aide Bannon points to promises kept, media fight

Top White House strategist Steve Bannon said Thursday US President Donald Trump is keeping the promises he made during his campaign on issues from immigration to job creation.