Nigerian army frees over 5,000 people from Boko Haram Nigerian army says on Sunday it has 'liberated over 5,000 people' from several northeastern villages

LAGOS (AA)- The Nigerian army said on Sunday it had “liberated over 5,000 people” from several northeastern villages where they had been held by Boko Haram militants.

“Troops of 21 Brigade and Civilian JTF [Joint Task Force] conducted a fighting patrol to Zangebe, Maiwa, Algaiti and Mainari villages in which they killed 6 Boko Haram terrorists and wounded several others,” army spokesman Sani Usman said in a statement.

The captives were rescued from the villages and security forces also seized an assortment of weapons, he added.

The army spokesman also said troops had dislodged militants from several villages in the Mafa local government area of Borno State.

Two militants were killed while two motorcycles were recovered during the operation at Maska Lawanti, he said.

“Unfortunately, we lost one civilian JTF, while a soldier and one mobile policeman were wounded in action,” according to him.

After almost two years of intense fighting that Abuja said has resulted in the technical defeat of the insurgents, Nigeria is struggling to clear its territories of Boko Haram militants. Until early 2015, Boko Haram occupied territories the size of Belgium in Nigeria’s side of the Lake Chad region where the militants had declared an Islamic caliphate.

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