Nigerian troops kill 21 gunmen in mop-up operations: official
At least 21 members of criminal groups across Nigeria's northern region were killed by troops in mop-up operations in the past two weeks, a military official said on Thursday.
Musa Danmadami, spokesman for the Nigerian military, told reporters during a press briefing in the Nigerian capital of Abuja that the operations aimed at routing out the remnants of criminal groups, particularly in the northwestern and northeastern regions of the country.
Eight members of the Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) groups were killed in the northeastern part of the country within the period, Danmadami said, adding that the troops also apprehended 35 extremist militants and logistics suppliers.
Some 19 civilians held hostage by the extremist militants were rescued, he said.
A total of 1,332 Boko Haram and ISWAP members and their relatives surrendered to troops during the period, the military official said.
In the northwestern part of the country, Danmadami said 13 bandits were killed by troops who have continued to sustain their dominance over the menace of banditry and other criminal activities.
Some 23 civilian hostages were also rescued in the region within the period of the military's mop-up operations, he added.
Armed attacks have been a primary security threat in Nigeria's northern region, leading to deaths and kidnappings in recent months.