Nigeria's army announced on Monday that it has freed 178 people held hostage by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. In response, the terror group released a beheading video online.
According to a report from the Associated Press, the rescue took place near Aulari, 70 kilometers (45 miles) southeast of Maiduguri city. Out of the 178 rescued from the terror group, more than 100 of them were children.
"During the offensive operations, 178 people held captives by the terrorists were rescued; they include 101 children, 67 women and 10 men respectively," military spokesman Col. Tukur Gusau said.
The colonel did not specify when the operation took place. However, BBC News reported that a Boko Haram commander had been captured, and several of the terror group's camps were cleared.
"Boko Haram has killed some 5,500 civilians in Nigeria since 2014," BBC News wrote. "More than 200 of the Chibok girls are still missing, more than a year after they were kidnapped from their school in northern Nigeria."
According to the Associated Press, the rescue from Boko Haram took place in the Sambisa forest, "an Islamist stronghold where they have pledged allegiance to Islamic State." Before the latest hostage release, the terror group killed 13 people in an assault in the Nigerian village of Malari.
"They also set many houses ablaze after accusing us of telling soldiers their whereabouts," farmer Moha Saleh said, adding that 27 were wounded in the attack against Malari.
The Nigerian army told the Associated Press that it also carried out airstrikes to repel an attack by the jihadists, claiming that a "large number" of the extremists have been killed. Resident Goni Musa confirmed the death toll and described how Boko Haram invaded his village.
"This morning 13 bodies were recovered; some had been shot in the back, which means they were fleeing when the terrorists killed them," Musa said. "They burnt down houses and shops before they left, yelling 'Allahu Akbar'. Our terrorized women and children fled into the bush and returned to Maiduguri this morning."
The Associated Press reported that Malari has been the target of numerous attacks, including a suicide bombing at a mosque last month during the middle of Ramadan that left 12 people dead.
According to Clement Ejiofor of NAIJ, Boko Haram released a new video that contained both a beheading of a Nigerian police officer and threats against the Nigerian government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
"The militants unveiled a video showing part of their main battle tanks, armored personnel carrier and huge artillery arsenal, which they recently captured," Ejiofor wrote.
Ejiofor reported that Boko Haram also urged Muslims to join the fight against the Nigerian government.
"We are still present everywhere we had been before," Boko Haram said in the video.
BBC News reported that fighting between Boko Haram and the Nigerian army has killed more than 15,500 people since 2012. The conflict has also spread to Niger, Chad and Cameroon.