While Nigerian officials are trying to portray the rescue of hundreds of girls from Boko Haram captivity as a major success, reports from survivors of the incident suggest a very botched effort and a lot of civilian deaths caused by fighters on both sides.
When the rescue became imminent, Boko Haram fighters killed a number of the remaining captives. As Nigerian armored vehicles rushed to the scene, they ran over and killed at least 10 of the girls.
As the gunbattle neared, stray bullets from both sides killed a large number of additional girls, and when the dust cleared and the Nigerian troops had driven off the Boko Haram fighters, they realized they didn’t have enough transport for the rescued girls, forcing many of the starving women to walk.
Even during the walk things didn’t go so well, with many collapsing from exhaustion during the march out of the camp. Some of them also stepped on some land mines, with at least three killed in the ensuing explosions.
How many were killed overall is unclear, and indeed may never be known, but the rescue operation clearly left an awful lot of people dead.
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