77 Boko Haram militants forced to surrender, 245 hostages rescued

Seventy-seven members of Boko Haram were force to surrender by the Nigerian Army after a joint task force of 122 soldiers cleared an area, rescuing 245 hostages.

The Nigerian military has made further inroads against Boko Haram, forcing 77 militants to surrender and liberating 245 hostages.Reuters

"Nigerian troops deployed in Operation Lafiya Dole and their neighbouring counterparts under the Multinational Joint Task Force have been very busy clearing the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists into their respective areas of responsibilities," Colonel Sani Usman, acting director of Army Public relations, told allafrica.com.

"In the process, they were able to rescue quite a number of abducted persons, arrested suspected Boko Haram terrorists, recovered weapons and equipment."

Among the Boko Haram members that surrendered were 17 men, 16 women, 16 male children and 28 female children.

Boko Haram has been present in Northern Nigeria for almost seven years, seeking to impose its harsh interpretation of Islam on Africa's most populous nation.

Around 20,000 people have died and more than 2.5 million have been displaced as a result of the insurgency.

Last month, more than two years after 276 Chibok schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram, two girls were recovered among a further 97 abductees, raising hopes for the remaining group.

On May 14, French President Francois Hollande told a security summit in Nigeria that "[Boko Haram] has been weakened, it's been pushed back, it's been chased around and has given up the territories it was controlling, and as a result it's being even better targeted and fought. However, this terrorist group remains a threat."