Earlier this month, we covered the anniversary of the mass abduction of 200 Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram. Nigeria’s new government made waves when it tacitly acknowledged that those kidnapped were most likely not coming home. Factoring in the time missing, and the nature of the captors, holding out hope was no longer a realistic option.

For the girls taken last year, that’s likely still the case; but today, hope remained alive for almost 300 other women and girls who were rescued by the Nigerian military.

The captives were rescued during operations by the Nigerian military to seize four Boko Haram camps in the Sambisa Forest in northeast Nigeria.

From Fox News:

A military source who was in Sambisa told The Associated Press that some of the women rescued Tuesday fought back, and that Boko Haram was using armed women as human shields, putting them as their first line of defense.

The Nigerian troops managed to subdue them and rounded them all up, and some said they were forced to fight for Boko Haram, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Boko Haram also has used girls and women as suicide bombers, sending them into crowded market places and elsewhere.

A month ago the Nigerian military began pounding the Sambisa Forest in air raids, an assault they said earlier they had been avoiding for fear of killing the Chibok schoolgirls, or inciting their captors to kill them.

It’s happy news, which doesn’t come very often when you’re talking about northeast Nigeria.

According to the BBC, the military also managed to seize weapons stockpiled in the camps. Additionally, Nigerian forces have managed to take back much of the territory previously held by Boko Haram; however, fighting in the Lake Chad area over the weekend proved bloody for both civilians and military forces alike, highlighting just how far Nigeria and its allies have to go in the battle to eradicate the insurgency.

Meanwhile in the border town of Damasak, local government officials are busy burying the remains of hundreds of men, women, and children allegedly murdered by Boko Haram. From November until last month, Boko had occupied the town; however, troops from Niger and Chad managed to retake the town at the end of March, but not before the death toll from the occupation rose into the hundreds.