Boko Haram hostages released as five leaders arrested

Boko Haram hostages released as five leaders arrested

The multinational forces fighting Boko Haram have arrested five leaders of the extremist group and freed dozens of women and children held captive, Cameroon's government said.

Spokesman Issa Tchiroma said that the raids targeted Boko Haram's bases in the Madawaya forest earlier this month.

He said the operation freed 28 children along with at least 18 women.

The spokesman said Boko Haram had set up camp in the forest after fleeing another military operation in neighbouring Nigeria. He said the fighters had been training young girls and women as suicide bombers.

Boko Haram's nearly seven-year insurgency, which has launched attacks beyond Nigeria's borders into Cameroon, Chad and Niger, has killed at least 20,000 people, according to Amnesty International.

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