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Former hostages held by Boko Haram militants in northern Nigeria say some fellow captives were stoned to death as the army approached to rescue them.

According to the BBC, the women said Boko Haram fighters started pelting them when they refused to run away as the army came nearer.

The military says it has rescued more than 700 people in the past week in an offensive against the Islamist group. Over 200 girls are feared to be pregnant. Reports followed that women and girls kidnapped by the insurgents were routinely raped and forced to marry their abductors.

The survivors said that when they were initially captured, the militants had killed men and older boys in front of their families before taking women and children into the forest.

They said the Islamists never let them out of their sight – not even when they went to the toilet. One woman described how they were fed just one meal a day.

‘Every day, we witnessed the death of one of us and waited for our turn,’ Umaru, a 24-year-old mother of two, told Reuters.

‘It does not appear that any of those released are from the group of nearly 300 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram a year ago in a mass abduction that led to worldwide protests calling for the girls’ release,’ stated the BBC.

Thousands have been killed in northern Nigeria since Boko Haram began its insurgency in 2009 to create an Islamic state.

In February, Nigeria’s military, backed by troops from neighbouring countries, launched a major offensive against the Islamist fighters, recapturing Boko Haram territory taken in the previous year.

Sources: Assist News Service, BBC, Reuters,

Prayer Point

  • Pray those who have been rescued will be know the Lord’s healing, and experience His strength and enabling, as they overcome their trauma and adapt to their new circumstances.
  • Pray the Lord will bring great cultural change to this nation so that feelings of shame and ostracisation associated with rape will no longer occur.
  • Pray all captives will be rescued; ask the Lord to protect those who are attempting to break the stronghold of Boko Haram.