Military rescue 5,235 Boko Haram hostages.

The Nigerian military has said that through its “Operation Finale” has rescued 5,235 persons held hostage by Boko Haram insurgents from October to November 2016, recovered many weapons and killed several insurgents across various locations of the theatre.

 

The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, who disclosed this at a press briefing held at the headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole, at Maimalari Cantonment Maiduguri, yesterday, said due to the ferocity of the attack by the Nigerian military the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists were fleeing their camps as many of them were being killed.

He said the Operation Finale which started on November 6th, 2016 was aimed at rescuing the Chibok girls and any other persons held hostage by the Boko Haram insurgents in the Sambisa forests and its environs, and also clear the remnant of the Boko Haram terrorists in the dreaded forest.

 

Irabor stated that during the period under review, his troops had killed several Boko Haram insurgents and arrested their food and other logistics suppliers at different locations within the theatre of operations, adding that the troops will not relent till the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents were completely wiped out.

Somali Pirates’ Hostages ‘Ate Rats’ To Survive

A group of sailors who were held hostage by Somali pirates for nearly five years survived in part by eating rats, one survivor has told the BBC.

Filipino sailor Arnel Balbero said they were also only given small amounts of water and felt like “the walking dead” by the end of their ordeal.

The 26 sailors were seized on board their ship in 2012 and were eventually taken to Somalia.

They were freed on Saturday, reportedly after a ransom was paid.

The sailors were from China, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Mr Balbero was among the crew of the FV Naham 3 when it was captured by Somali pirates south of the Seychelles. One crew member was killed during the capture, according to non-governmental organisation Oceans Beyond Piracy.

A year later, the ship sank and the crew were brought onshore in Somalia. Two sailors subsequently died of illnesses.

Mr Balbero told the BBC that the last four and a half years had left him and his compatriots “like walking dead”.

Asked how the pirates treated them, he said: “They give us small amount of water only… We eat rat. Yes, we cook it in the forest.”

“[We] just eat anything, anything. You feel hungry, you eat.”

He also spoke of their difficulties adjusting to life after their ordeal, saying: “I don’t know what is… outside of this world when this finish, so it’s very hard to start again.”

Read More: bbc

Starved Survivors Tell Of Hell As Boko Haram Hostages

Zara Malam’s son Mohammed was just five months old when Boko Haram stormed their village in northeastern Nigeria and carried them off to their stronghold in the Sambisa forest.

After several months as a hostage, the boy’s head is enlarged from malnutrition and crinkled skin sags from the joints of his tiny, boney body.

“They (Boko Haram) did nothing for my son and the same for the other children… No food, no clothing, no water… Not a single thing,” she says as she sits nursing him under her long hijab on the floor of the Federal Medical Centre in Yola.

Zara is one of 15 women hostages injured by gunshots or landmines when Nigerian troops freed them after storming Boko Haram bases in the forest last week.

But even here in the relative safety of Yola in neighbouring Adamawa state, they still have to have armed guards on the door.

“We were so happy when the soldiers came. Now, I just want him to get well,” the 25-year-old told AFP.

Zara and some of the other women sit on the ward floor, leaving the beds to the more badly injured. Cradled in their arms, are emaciation, hollow-eyed children being treated for severe malnutrition and dehydration.

Emaciated children

The former hostages were brought to the hospital on Tuesday from the Malkohi Camp on the outskirts of Yola, where 275 women and children arrived on Saturday after their rescue from the Sambisa Forest in neighbouring Borno province.

Four other emaciated children were brought to hospital at the same time. They, too, seem too weak to cry, unlike the “unaccompanied” young boys and girls, whose wailing cuts through the air.

“When they (the rescued hostages) arrived there were not less than 100 children,” said nurse Ruth Ugwu, who works at the camp’s clinic.

“When we started screening, we discovered that 31 were acutely malnourished, all of them under the age of five.”

Some are now gaining weight through a diet of powdered milk, vitamins, juice and oatmeal supplied by local, national and international aid agencies, she added.

The prognosis for all the children now in hospital is good, including Mohammed.

“They should be OK,” said Ugwu.

Over-stretched? 

Clearly efforts are being made to help the former hostages recover both physically and mentally. ADSEMA, its federal equivalent and organisations such as the Nigerian Red Cross are all involved.

But the violence in the north of Adamawa and across Borno and Yobe states has seen Yola’s population swell by hundreds of thousands because of its reputation as a safe haven.

Many are staying with host families or friends in the city.

With no indication of when it will be safe for refugees to return, local resources are stretched, volunteers said, with more supplies and longer-term support required.

An ambulance wasn’t available to take Mohammed and the other malnourished children to hospital, so Turai Kadir did it herself. “They were in the camp for four days without doctors,” the community worker said, shaking her head.

“There should be doctors for women and children to see them first before camping them in a room. Health should be a priority…

“The government can’t take care of the IDPs (internally displaced people).”

Credit: AFP

ISIS Threatens Obama, Japanese and Jordanian Hostages in New Online Messages

A new, grisly beheading video from ISIS includes a direct threat against President Obama and is one of at least three new warnings from the terror organization, including pledges to kill Jordanian and Japanese hostages if a hostage held by Jordan is not freed.

In a new online video discovered by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on Tuesday, three Islamic State fighters stand behind a kneeling Kurdish fighter as one of the extremists launches into a diatribe against the U.S. and other Western nations.

“Know, oh Obama, that will reach America,” says one of the fighters, clad in black and wearing a balaclava, in a translation from Arabic provided by MEMRI. “Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House, and transform America into a Muslim Province.”

Read More: foxnews.com

Japanese government urged to seek Turkey help in freeing ISIL-held hostages

A Japanese expert has called on the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to seek Turkey’s mediation in efforts to free the two hostages from Japan held by the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group operating in Syria and Iraq.

Ko Nakata, an expert on Islamic law and a former professor at Kyoto’s Doshisha University, also said on Thursday that Tokyo should pay the 200-million-dollar ransom required by the ISIL for the two Japanese hostages.

The ISIL terrorist group released a video on January 20, threatening to kill the two Japanese hostages unless Tokyo pays the ransom within 72 hours.

Nakata proposed that the Japanese government distribute the ransom as humanitarian aid among refugees and residents in the areas that “the Red Crescent Society is operating under the Islamic State (ISIL)’s control.”

“Why don’t we seek Turkey’s mediation and give the money for the people affected by the conflicts in Iraq and Syria? I believe this could be a rational, acceptable option,” Ko Nakata said.

Read More: presstv.ir

Boko Haram Release Hostages As Chad Joins Fight

Boko Haram freed two dozen hostages after a mass abduction by its militants in Cameroon, as Chad prepared Monday to engage in the international battle against the extremist group.

Twenty-four of the 80 people taken hostage by Boko Haram in the north of Cameroon Sunday were released as Cameroonian armed forces pursued the Islamist extremists, according to a government source.

The Boko Haram fighters then fled back into Nigeria, with the fate of the rest of the hostages taken in the raid, the worst of its kind to date, still unknown.

An army officer based in Cameroon’s far north said Boko Haram had attacked two villages and kidnapped what Cameroonian state media said were 80 hostages.

As the militants retreated, the Chadian army said it was putting 400 military vehicles, attack helicopters, and still unspecified number of soldiers amassed in northern Cameroon into action against Boko Haram, as part of what has become a regional effort to defeat the notoriously violent group.

“We are going to advance (Monday) towards the enemy,” Chadian army colonel Djerou Ibrahim, who is leading the offensive against Boko Haram, told AFP from the strategic crossroads town of Maltam in northern Cameroon.

“Our mission is to hunt down Boko Haram, and we have all the means to do that.”

But Cameroonian Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary warned the armies of the two nations still had considerable planning to complete before being able to launch offensives against Boko Haram.

“Military planners must evaluate the forces being coordinated and coalesced,” he said. “That takes time. Don’t expect to start seeing the results of that tomorrow.”

Chadian President Idriss Deby has clearly stated his determination to re-capture the strategic town of Baga in northeastern Nigeria, which Boko Haram stormed in murderous attacks in early January.

Credit: Yahoo

BREAKING: Australian Siege is Over

Police say a hostage situation in Sydney is over after a swarm of heavily armed police stormed a downtown cafe where a gunman had been holding an unknown number of people.

A police spokesman confirmed “the operation is over” early Tuesday but would not release any further details.

Police swooped into the Lindt Chocolat Cafe shortly after five or six hostages were seen running out of the building.

After the police moved in, one weeping woman was helped out by the officers and at least two other people were wheeled out on stretchers.

Credit: Yahoo News

Hostages Held in Sydney Cafe, ISIS Flag Seen Through Window

Hostages were being held inside a central Sydney cafe where a black flag with white Arabic writing could be seen in the window, local television showed on Monday, raising fears of an attack linked to Islamic militants.

Australia, which is backing the United States and its escalating action against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, is on high alert for attacks by radicalized Muslims or by home-grown fighters returning from fighting in the Middle East.

Part of Martin Place, home to the Reserve Bank of Australia, commercial banks and close to the New South Wales (NSW) state parliament, was closed off by armed police.

Live television footage showed patrons inside a cafe standing with their hands pressed against the windows. A black and white flag similar to those used by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria was also visible.

NSW Police tweeted: “A police operation is underway in Martin Place, Sydney’s CBD. People are advised to avoid the area.”

Dozens of police including a SWAT team were setting up and a couple of hundred people were being held back by cordons.

Trains and buses were stopped and roads were blocked in the area, with train operators saying there had been a bomb threat at Martin Place.

Credit: Yahoo News

Totally Wipe Out Boko Haram- Cameroonian President

Cameroonian President, Paul Biya stated on Monday that his administration will hunt down Boko Haram “until it is totally wiped out”.

Speaking after the release of the abducted 27 hostages comprising 17 Cameroonians and 10 Chinese, Biya said “The Cameroonian government assures you that it will ceaselessly continue to fight Boko Haram until it’s totally wiped out”.

Although he did not mention how these hostages were freed, a source revealed that a ransom was paid and around 20 imprisoned Islamist were freed in exchange. 

The 27 Cameroonians and Chinese were delivered to authorities on Friday night.