Boko Haram fighters took turns on Sunday to stone captives to death, some girls and women were crushed by an armored car and three died when a land mine exploded as they walked to freedom.
Through tears, smiles and eyes filled with pain, the survivors of months in the hands of the Islamic extremists told their tragic stories;
20-year-old Salamatu Bulama, said several girls and women were killed, but they did not know how many.
The horrors did not end once the military arrived.
A group of women were hiding under some bushes, where they could not be seen by soldiers riding in an armored personnel carrier, who drove right over them.
“I think those killed there were about 10,” Bulama said.
Other women died from stray bullets, she said, identifying three by name.
There were not enough vehicles to transport all of the freed captives and some women had to walk. Those on foot were told to walk in the tire tracks made by the convoy because Boko Haram militants had mined much of the forest. But some of the women must have strayed because a land mine exploded, killing three, she said.
Bulama shielded her face with her veil and cried when she thought about another death: Her only son, a 2-year-old toddler who died two months ago of an illness she said was aggravated by malnutrition.
“What will I tell my husband?” she sobbed after learning from other survivors who used borrowed cell phones to try to trace relatives that her husband was alive and in the northern town of Kaduna.
Nigeria’s military said it has freed nearly 700 Boko Haram captives in the past week. It is still unclear if any of them were among the so-called “Chibok girls,” whose mass abduction from their school a year ago sparked outrage worldwide and a campaign for their freedom under the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.