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More than 1,000 people held captive by the militant group Boko Haram have been freed, according to Nigeria's military. Most were women and children, although some men who were forced to be fighters were also rescued.
Over 1,000 Boko Haram hostages in northeastern Nigeria have been freed, military spokesman Brigadier General Texas Chukwu said on Monday.
Although Nigeria's military has attempted to rescue captives of the jihadist group before, many remain missing — including some of the school girls abducted from Chibok in 2014.
What we know
What is Boko Haram? The extremist group's name roughly translates to "Western education is forbidden." They are mostly active in northeastern Nigeria where they carry out kidnappings and suicide bomb attacks. Over 20,000 people have been killed during the group's nine-year insurgency and 2.5 million people have fled the region.
Missing schoolgirls: In 2014,Boko Haram militants kidnapped 200 school girls from the town of Chibok, prompting international condemnation. Although some of the girls have been rescued, other victims remain missing. In February, around 110 girls in the town of Dapchi were kidnapped by Boko Haram but most were later released. The Nigerian government denies paying a ransom in exchange for the missing girls.
President under pressure: Despite repeatedly declaring that Boko Haram has been defeated, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is facing increasing pressure over the group's ongoing attacks and abductions. Buhari vowed to combat the Islamic extremist group prior to his 2015 election win. He's up for re-election next year.
rs/kms (AP, dpa)