A statement issued by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman said the troops acted on getting information that the insurgents used the three villages to keep most of their hostages, especially the females.
Conducting the special operation in” Chingurimi, Walasa and Masa villages, where the people were rescued, 150 sim cards were also recovered among other items, by the military.
The statement reads that the villages believed to have large concentration of abducted women and children were held hostages by the Boko Haram terrorists, has remained one of the prime locations the insurgents defends stoutly.
It reads in part: “The troops killed quite a number of Boko Haram terrorists and rescued 17 women, an old man and 24 children at the area.
“They also recovered 1 AK-47 rifle, 6 rounds of 7.62mm, 295 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO), 12 Dane Guns, 21 unserviceable mobile telephone handsets and one serviceable as well as150 different SIM cards.
“In all, the troops rescued over 400 persons held hostage by Boko Haram terrorists were freed by the troops”.
In another development also on Wednesday evening, troops while on habour during a clearance operation in Sambisa forest code named Operation Crackdown, were attacked by the insurgents.
Army spokesman Usman said the ” terrorists who came in 5 Toyota Hilux vehicles mounted with Anti-Aircraft guns which they fired along with 81mm mortar.
“The battle ready troops rose to the occasion and repelled the attack and pursued the terrorists that withdrew in disarray towards the river line of Izza-Mainyakare axis.
”The attack lasted for about 40 minutes without any casualty on our troops while an unconfirmed number of Boko Haram terrorists were killed. The troops recovered an 81mm mortar tube from the terrorists,” he said.
The statement said the Troops have remained alert and ready to confront their responsibilities as may be required, including vigilance at the harbour area.