Last week, the Nigerian military made major gains in their offensive against Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram. Rescuing hundreds of hostages from the militants, the Nigerian military was also able to reportedly destroy more than a dozen of their campsites (pictured below). Now, some of the former hostages are sharing what their experiences were like behind enemy lines, according to the BBC.
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In a series of interviews, the press spoke with a number of women who were among the 300 hostages that were kidnapped from Gumsuri village, which is located near Chibok.
According to the women, Boko Haram militants killed many of their men and older boys in front of them before forcing them in to the forest.
Twenty-seven-year-old Lami Musa explains her experience, “When they realised I was pregnant, they said I was pregnated by an infidel [her husband] and they killed him.”
The terrorists then reportedly told her, “Once you deliver in a week’s time, we will marry you to our commander.”
However, Musa would be fortunate enough to dodge that fate, shedding tears as she said, “I delivered at night, and we were rescued by the soldiers the following morning.”
Watch Musa discuss her experience here:
But other women weren’t so lucky.
Shortly after the abduction, many women were immediately married off.
Living Hungry, Afraid
According to the women, they were monitored by he militants around the clock — even when they had to go to the bathroom.
“They didn’t allow us to move an inch,” one of the freed women, 24-year-old Mother of two Asabe Umaru, told Reuters news agency. “We were kept in one place. We were under bondage.”
In addition, they were fed only one meal a day, with many dying of malnutrition.
Cecilia Abel told Reuters, “We were fed only ground dry maize in the afternoons. It was not good for human consumption.”
Umaru added, “Every day, we witnessed the death of one of us and waited for our turn.”
A Bittersweet Rescue
The women also explained that as the military advanced toward their camp, Boko Haram militants began stoning the women who refused to flee with them, resulting in several deaths.
Survivor Asama Umoro also explained that other women were erroneously killed by the military, “[Soldiers did not realize] in time that we were not the enemies, [so some women and children were] run over by their trucks.”
It took the military three days of travel on pick-up trucks to transport the group of former hostages to the city of Yola on Saturday night.
And since their arrival, doctors have reportedly been working diligently to restore many of the malnourished babies and children, placing them on intravenous drips, with Associated Press reporter Michelle Faul observing, “[Some of the children were] “just little skeletal bodies with flaps of skin that make them look like old people.”