In a move toward activating the force, Nigeria announced on Thursday the appointment of Major General Iliya Abbah as its commander, but significant military operations appear unlikely before the end of the rainy season in September.
Spokesman Colonel Tukur Gusau stated in an emailed assertion that 101 of the these freed have been youngsters, 67 have been ladies and the remaining have been males.
The region has been pummeled by suicide bombings that have killed hundreds carried out by the Boko Haram Islamic extremists since Nigeria elected a new president who promised to root out the extremists.
Boko Haram was also accused of attacking the town of Gamboru on Saturday, near the border with Cameroon.
Nigeria’s air force also reported killing “a large number” of militants in repelling a Boko Haram attack, in cooperation with ground troops, at Bitta.
The Chadian army has gone ahead and waged a vast offensive of its own in the past fortnight, targeting Islamists holed up around Lake Chad and claiming to have killed “117 terrorists”.
Since 2012, more than 15,000 people are estimated to have been killed in bloody attacks with almost a million people forced to flee.
“They called our attention that there were trucks fully loaded with Nigerians who after investigation are refuges, internally displaced by Boko Haram and repatriated by Cameroon gendarmes”, Mr. Bello said.
Boko Haram was pushed out of most of the vast swaths of territory it controlled at the start of the year but they have dispersed and returned to tactics of raiding towns and hitting soft targets with bombs. The insurgent leader, the military said, is now undergoing investigation.
Nigeria’s military, poorly equipped with soldiers reporting going into battle without rations and just 30 bullets, last year allowed Boko Haram to take control of a large swath of the northeast.
“Also, three Boko Haram flags were recovered while five motorcycles were burnt by the troops”.
The announcement came as Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari visited Cameroon in a bid to forge a stronger regional alliance against the Islamists.