By Peter Kum
The Nigerian army has freed 387 Cameroonians who were captured last year by Boko Haram militants, Cameroonian officials said Friday.
Midjiyawa Bakari, the governor of the Far North Region in Cameroon, told Anadolu Agency that the recovered civilians are in Cameroon's Mozogo town where the Red Cross and government officials are taking care of them.
Bakari said the former hostages will return to their respective families in the coming days.
“Nigerian troops used helicopters to bomb the hiding place of these terrorists forcing them to flee leaving the hostages behind,” Gen. Bouba Dobekreo, commander of the joint military operation said.
Idrissa Adama, one of the freed captives, said he was abducted when he went to water from a well, last year.
"Boko Haram members made us walk for long distances in the bush… I was responsible for cooking for them,” he said.
The militant group has perpetrated many attacks including suicide bombing and kidnappings in Cameroon's Far North region in recent months.
At least 381 civilians have been killed by Boko Haram attacks since April in Cameroon and Nigeria amid a spike in suicide bombings, according to Amnesty International.
Boko Haram attacks have killed nearly 2,500 Cameroonians between 2014 and 2017, according to Cameroon’s Defense Ministry.
The UN Refugee Agency estimates approximately 26 million people in the Lake Chad region have been affected by the Boko Haram violence, and more than 2.6 million displaced.