Nigeria: Troops rescue 178 people, destroy extremist camps

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LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- Nigerian troops rescued 178 people from Boko Haram in attacks that destroyed several camps of the Islamic extremists in the northeast of the country, an army statement said Sunday.

Spokesman Col. Tukur Gusau said that 101 of those freed are children, along with 67 women and 10 men.

The Nigerian Air Force reported killing "a large number" of militants in repelling an attack on Bitta village, 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of the army operations that took place around Bama, 70 kilometers (45 miles) southeast of Maiduguri city. Maiduguri is the birthplace of Boko Haram and the capital of northeastern Borno state.

Sunday's statements did not specify when the attacks occurred.

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Nigeria bombing, Boko Haram July 2015
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Nigeria: Troops rescue 178 people, destroy extremist camps
Security forces transport with a blanket the remains of some of the eleven victims of a double blast in the northern Cameroonian city of Maroua on July 22, 2015. Eleven people were killed on Wednesday in northern Cameroon when two girls blew themselves in twin attacks in a region repeatedly targeted by Nigeria-based Boko Haram jihadists, officials said. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
Security forces transport with a blanket the remains of some of the eleven victims of a double blast in the northern Cameroonian city of Maroua on July 22, 2015. Eleven people were killed on Wednesday in northern Cameroon when two girls blew themselves in twin attacks in a region repeatedly targeted by Nigeria-based Boko Haram jihadists, officials said. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE- In this Monday, July 20, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama, right, meets with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington. Bomb blasts at two bustling bus stations killed 29 people and wounded 105, officials said Thursday, July 23, 2015, after Nigeria’s new president warned that the U.S. refusal to sell his country strategic weapons is “aiding and abetting” Boko Haram. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci file)
FILE - In this Friday, May 29, 2015 file photo, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari salutes his supporters during his Inauguration in Abuja, Nigeria. Bomb blasts at two bustling bus stations killed 29 people and wounded 105, officials said Thursday, July 23, 2015 after Nigeria’s new president warned that U.S. refusal to sell his country strategic weapons is “aiding and abetting” Boko Haram. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)
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Last week the army rescued 71 kidnapped people.

Hundreds have been freed from Boko Haram captivity this year but none of the 219 girls abducted in April 2014 from a school in Chibok were among the rescued.

The extremists distributed a new video on Twitter on Sunday purporting to show attacks on Nigerian army barracks in the states of Borno and Yobe. The video also shows the beheading of a man in military fatigues said to be a Nigerian soldier.

According to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group, an unidentified fighter, shown in the video with looted army weapons and ammunition, says the footage shows Nigeria's military has not forced Boko Haram from its positions and got them hemmed into the Sambisa Forest, as the military has claimed.

Some of those rescued last week said they had been held by Boko Haram for up to one year in villages just 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Maiduguri.

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