Nigerian army releases 244 Boko Haram suspects

ANI | Updated: Jan 17, 2018 12:36 IST

Washington D.C. [U.S.A], January 17 (ANI): The Nigerian army has announced that it has released 244 Boko Haram suspects who have renounced their membership in the terrorist group.

According to the Washington Post, the army said that all these people have been de-radicalised and are in a frame of mind that they can enter the society again.

The people released on Monday included 118 adult males, 56 women, 19 teens and 51 children, according to operation commander Maj. Gen. Rogers Nicholas.

He said they were only freed after participating in a de-radicalisation programme.

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima commended the military its ongoing efforts against Haram.

Some 20,000 people have been killed in Boko Haram's eight-year insurgency. The army released the suspects as part of activities marking Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

There have been mass releases of Boko Haram suspects in the past, but this is the largest following a de-radicalisation programme.

Nigeria's government set up a de-radicalisation programme in 2016 for arrested Boko Haram fighters who wanted to quit the group.

In 2017, more than 800 Haram fighters participated in the de-radicalisation programme. (ANI)