By Kayode Sesan
Nigeria’s army says it has rescued 178 people held by the Boko Haram group in Nigeria’s Borno state in raids that destroyed several camps in the country’s northeast.
Army spokesman Colonel Tukur Gusau said in a statement on Sunday that 101 of the those freed were children, 67 were women and 10 were men.
Gusau said that a Boko Haram commander had also been captured in the raids on camps around the town of Bama, about 70km southeast of the state capital Maiduguri.
Nigeria’s air force earlier said on Sunday that it helped ground troops repel an attack by Boko Haram around the village of Bitta on the southern edge of the Sambisa forest reserve, a stronghold of the group.
Bitta is west of Gwoza, a town near the Cameroonian border that was believed to be the group’s headquarters until a major offensive was launched earlier this year against the group.
Last week the army said it rescued 71 kidnapped people.