Nigeria’s military helped rescue more than 1,000 people held by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in the north-east of the country.
The hostages were mainly women and children with some young men forced to fight for the group. Reuters was unable to independently verify the details contained in the military statement.
The military said troops rescued hostages from Malamkari, Amchaka, Walasa and Gora villages of Bama Local Government Area in the state of Borno.
It said the operation was conducted in conjunction with troops from neighbouring countries who make up the Multinational Joint Task Force.
Government has been saying since December 2015 the militants have been defeated. The group, which has kidnapped thousands since it began an insurgency in 2009 aimed at creating an Islamic state in the north-east, carried out high-profile attacks in the last few months.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who took office in May 2015 vowing to end Boko Haram’s insurgency, made it a priority to improve security in Africa’s most populous country but insurgents continue to carry out suicide bombings, gun raids and kidnappings.