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Nigerian Troops Free 5,000 Boko Haram Hostages in Borno State

© REUTERS / Emmanuel BraunNigerian soldiers hold up a Boko Haram flag that they had seized in the recently retaken town of Damasak, Nigeria, March 18, 2015
Nigerian soldiers hold up a Boko Haram flag that they had seized in the recently retaken town of Damasak, Nigeria, March 18, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The Nigerian army liberated over 5,000 persons held hostages by Boko Haram terrorists during so-called clearance operations, according an army spokesman.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Nigerian army conducted a series of raids in Islamist-infested eastern Borno state on Sunday, freeing some 5,000 hostages held by Boko Haram, an army spokesman said.

The so-called clearance operations were conducted in a dozen of villages occupied by the notorious Islamist group. At least 10 militants were killed.

"The troops also liberated over 5,000 persons held hostages by Boko Haram terrorists," a statement by Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman read.

Image taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network - Sputnik International
Boko Haram Attacks in Niger Displace 50,000 in Single Day - UNHCR
The army lost one soldier and two others were injured, in addition to a "vigilante" who sustained an eye wound but is now recovering, the spokesman continued.

Boko Haram has been active in northeastern Nigeria since 2009. Last year, the group expanded attacks into Niger, Cameroon and Chad. In March 2015, it pledged allegiance to Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh), outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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