Nigerian troops rescue 195 Boko Haram hostages

Nigerian troops rescue 195 Boko Haram hostages, kill number of militants in raids on villages

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Soldiers walk past burnt houses on February 4, 2016 during a visit to the village of Dalori in Borno state.

Nigerian troops have rescued 195 Boko Haram hostages and killed a number of militants in raids on villages across the restive northeast, the army said Thursday.

Troops descended on towns suspected to be controlled by the militant group in the state of Borno and "rescued 195 persons held hostage," it said in a statement.

"Quite a number of Boko Haram terrorists were killed," it added, while a spokesman also listed a range of equipment and livestock seized.

Photos released by the army show a modest camp with shelters made of logs and thatched grass and shacks constructed with rusted corrugated steel.

Seized equipment included two trucks, 180 motorcycles, 750 bicycles and a generator. The militants have recently been using bicycles to attack villages in the absence of better vehicles.

Army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman added they also recovered 300 cows, 200 sheep and 130 goats rustled by the insurgents.

The offensive follows a major assault against a key Boko Haram base in Nigeria by the Cameroonian army, who seized heavy machine-guns, rocket-launchers, AK-47s, grenades and training rifles.

In Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, the group has killed at least 17,000 people and made more than 2.6 million others homeless since their six-year campaign for an independent state of its own in northern Nigeria.

Boko Haram's continued attacks in the region come despite the government's insistence it has "technically" defeated the DAESH affiliate.