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 those rescued.
Nigeria’s air pressure additionally stated that it helped floor troops repel an assault by Boko Haram across the village of Bitta on the southern fringe of the Sambisa forest reserve, a stronghold of the militant group.
Meanwhile witnesses says Boko Haram fighters killed 13 people in an attack on Malari village in restive Borno state early on Sunday.
But even with the liberation of the town, many who fled during its capture by Boko Haram refused to return for fear that the terrorists might have hidden in the numerous mountains and hills surrounding the town.
According to Tukur Gusau, an army spokesman, the Nigerian army led an offensive towards Aulari on the axis leading to Bama, 50 miles south of Maiduguri, capital of Borno state and the largest city in the Northeast.
Maiduguri, the biggest town in northeast Nigeria, is some 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Malari.
Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, the defense chief fired when Buhari got rid of the top echelon of Nigeria’s military last month, complained last week that “fifth columnists” in the military have leaked operational plans to Boko Haram.
Local resident Goni Musa, a vigilante who fights Boko Haram alongside the Nigerian military, gave the same death toll.
The Nigerian army reportedly made significant gains against terrorist group Boko Haram at the weekend after killing scores of militants and rescuing 178 hostages.
The president of neighbouring Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, expressed his confidence that the new regional force would succeed in “eradicating” the insurgents.
The jihadist group has stepped up its attacks since Nigeria’s new President Muhammadu Buhari took office in May, unleashing a wave of violence that has claimed 800 lives in just two months.
The group declared an Islamic caliphate in Gwoza, along the Cameroon border, in August 2014.
Rather than wane, the reign of bloodletting by suspected members of the Boko Haram waxed stronger at the weekend, in spite of onslaught against them by the military.