At least 20 women and children held hostage by Nigeria’s extremist Boko Haram insurgents have been rescued in military raids in northeast Borno State, the army has said.
The Saturday raids, described by the army as a “major operation” on four militant camps, also led to the killing of "a good number of Boko Haram" fighters according to spokesman Col. Tukur Gusau.
"Four Boko Haram terrorist enclaves were cleared and a number of terrorists were killed, while two were captured alive," the army said.
The military also claimed to have recovered some improvised explosive devices from the camps, suspected of being prepared for bomb attacks on soft targets in the troubled northeast region.
It said the rescued civilians were receiving treatment at a military medical facility in the area.
Nigeria’s army has in the past rescued some civilians -- mostly women and elderly men -- after clashes with Boko Haram militants in efforts to dislodge them from their strongholds.
Boko Haram, which is believed to be responsible for many violent attacks in the volatile northeast, was also involved in the kidnap of 219 schoolgirls at the remote town of Chibok in April 2014. The abductions triggered world outrage, though the teenagers have yet to be rescued by the Nigerian military.
The army says Boko Haram often kidnaps civilians during attacks on remote communities in the northeast.
By Olarewaju Kola
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