ABUJA—A total of 455 hostages held by terror group Boko Haram in Nigeria’s northeast region have been freed by government forces during recent anti-terrorism operations in the country, a spokesman for the army said on Tuesday.
The hostages were freed on Monday in Kala Balge district of the northern Borno State as troops engaged remnants of the terror group in that area in a heavy battle, Sani Usman, the army spokesman said in a statement.
The freed hostages have all been moved into a locally displaced persons’ camp in the state, according to Usman.
Many terrorists were neutralized by the troops during the operations which cut across many villages in Kala Balge district, he said.
The successful military operations were a sequel to the rescuing of 211 civilians from the Boko Haram group last Saturday, Usman added.
The Boko Haram insurgency has been blamed for more than 20,000 deaths and displacement of 2.3 million people since 2009.
Nigeria has made a considerable gain on the Boko Haram front, with its security forces operating in the restive region dislodging the Boko Haram fighters from the Sambisa Forest, the group’s largest training camp in the country, last December.
The security forces are intensifying aerial and ground patrols in the country’s northeast, extending their offensive mission around the Green Belt Region near Niger and Chad.