Nigerian Forces Free 180 Women & Children Held by Sect
Security forces in Nigeria freed approximately 180 women and children who were held by the radical Boko Haram sect yesterday. The sect is an extremist Islamic group believed to be responsible for attacks on police stations and government sites this week that have left 150 people dead, reports the BBC.
Most of the freed women are wives of sect members who were forced to travel to the northern city of Maiduguri with their husbands. Members of the sect sought to keep their wives from the view of other men and to teach their children only a Koranic education, according to Reuters. The women told the BBC they had been held inside for six days with only dates and water for sustenance.
During the gun battle that ensued as the military raided the sect's compound, about 100 people were reportedly killed and as many were arrested. The leader of the group, Mohammed Yusuf, fled the compound with about 300 followers, states the New York Times.
Media Resources: BBC 7/29/09; Reuters 7/29/09; New York Times 7/30/09