LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — The Nigerian army says it has rescued 54 women and children held captive by the extremist group Boko Haram.
A statement issued Monday by military spokesman Sagir Musa says troops rescued the captives during a clearance operation over the weekend in Borno State.
The military spokesman said the rescued persons consist of 29 women and 25 children.
Sagir said Boko Haram fighters had fled the villages before troops arrived.
Boko Haram frequently abducts women and children. The jihadist group began its insurgency in northeastern Nigeria and now has expanded its reach to the neighboring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
In April 2014, 276 girls were abducted from the Government Secondary School in Chibok. More than 100 of them are still missing five years later.