LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian troops rescued 178 people from Boko Haram in attacks that destroyed several camps of the Islamic extremists in the northeast of the country, an army statement said Sunday.
Spokesman Col. Tukur Gusau said that 101 of those freed are children, along with 67 women and 10 men.
The Nigerian Air Force reported killing “a large number” of militants in repelling an attack on Bitta village, 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of the army operations that took place around Bama, 70 kilometers (45 miles) southeast of Maiduguri city. Maiduguri is the birthplace of Boko Haram and the capital of northeastern Borno state.
Sunday’s statements did not specify when the attacks occurred.
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Last week the army rescued 71 kidnapped people.
Hundreds have been freed from Boko Haram captivity this year but none of the 219 girls abducted in April 2014 from a school in Chibok were among the rescued.
The extremists distributed a new video on Twitter on Sunday purporting to show attacks on Nigerian army barracks in the states of Borno and Yobe. The video also shows the beheading of a man in military fatigues said to be a Nigerian soldier.
According to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group, an unidentified fighter, shown in the video with looted army weapons and ammunition, says the footage shows Nigeria’s military has not forced Boko Haram from its positions and got them hemmed into the Sambisa Forest, as the military has claimed.
Some of those rescued last week said they had been held by Boko Haram for up to one year in villages just 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Maiduguri.