Nigeria’s army said Tuesday it had liberated 30 hostages held by Boko Haram, including 21 children and seven women, amid ongoing offensives against the extremists in the country’s northeast.
Army officials said the operation to free the captives took place in the town of Dikwa in Borno State, which had fallen to Boko Haram twice since April, and was recaptured by Nigerian troops last week.
“As a result of ongoing operations under the aegis of Operation Lafiya Dole to clear Dikwa and its environs from Boko Haram… (the) Nigerian Army yesterday rescued 30 persons from the hands of the terrorists,” army spokesman Sani Usman said in a statement.
“They include 21 children and a six-day-old infant, seven women including three nursing mothers, and two elderly male adults,” he said.
Dikwa is located around 90 kilometres (56 miles) east of Borno state capital Maiduguri.
Earlier Tuesday, 11 Boko Haram militants were killed in clashes with the military in a village in southern Borno state, a local resident and a member of the militia fighting alongside the army said.
Three militia fighters were also killed in the battle.