Boko Haram Frees 10 Policewomen, 3 Unimaid Professors

A young Congolese festival-goer gets his face painted during the Amani Festival

A young Congolese festival-goer gets his face painted during the Amani Festival

Also released were 10 women kidnapped in a raid by the militant group on a convoy on Damboa road, near Maiduguri.

Three lecturers of the University of Maiduguri kidnapped by the Boko Haram faction headed by Abu Mus'ab Al-Barnawi in July 2017 have been released, the Nigerian government said on Saturday.

The president expressed his gratitude to everyone involved in the rescue operation, in particular, the ICRC.

Recently, the terrorists reportedly announced that the group carried out several attacks in Nigeria's north-eastern regions during the Christmas season.

Following their release, President Muhammadu Buhari received a briefing from the Department of State Services (DSS) on the rescued 13 people, who were abducted at different times previous year by the Boko Haram sect.

Sources say that in anticipation of their arrival at the DSS headquarters, a team of doctors and psychologists have been placed on standby for immediate profiling and possible deradicalization since its nearly a year they were abducted am taken by the outlawed insurgents.

According to a State House release signed by Mr. Garba Shehu, Presidential spokesperson, their release was a sequel to a series of negotiations as directed by President Buhari and was facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"We are so pleased that these 13 people are free and will be able to see their families again", said Patrick Youssef, deputy regional director for Africa.

The ICRC said it acted only as a neutral intermediary in the negotiations. The armed opposition handed the 13 people over to ICRC representatives who transported them to Nigerian authorities.

"This action was similar to what the ICRC did in October 2016 and May 2017, when we transported the released "Chibok girls" to Nigerian officials", the statement said.

He said all the 13 rescued persons were in the custody of the service and are on their way to Abuja with the assistance of the Nigerian Army and the Air Force and may meet the president.

At least 20,000 people have been killed in almost nine years of violence and more than 2.6 million made homeless, triggering a humanitarian crisis across the Lake Chad region. "We hope that these people, too, will get to return to their families soon".