Boko Haram: Nigerian army 'frees another 234 women and children'

freed captives Image copyright Nigerian army
Image caption The Nigerian army has released this photo of some of the former captives

Another 234 women and children have been rescued from Boko Haram militants in Nigeria, the military has announced.

It said the operation took place on Thursday in the vast Sambisa forest - a militant hideout - in the north-east of the country.

It was not immediately clear if any of more than 200 girls abducted from a school in Chibok in April 2014 were among those freed.

Nearly 300 women and children were freed by the army earlier this week.

While the army says they had been captured by Boko Haram, a local senator says the women and children previously released may have been residents of the area.

'Destroyed camps'

In a tweet, the Nigerian military wrote: "FLASH: Another set of 234 women and children were rescued through the Kawuri and Konduga end of the #Sambisa Forest on Thursday."

It said the freed hostages were being screened to establish their identities.

The military earlier said it had destroyed 13 camps belonging to the Islamist insurgents in the Sambisa forest, which surrounds a reserve in Borno.

Thousands have been killed in northern Nigeria since Boko Haram began its insurgency in 2009 to create an Islamic state.

In February, Nigeria's military, backed by troops from neighbouring countries, launched a major offensive against the Islamist fighters.

It has recaptured much of the territory Boko Haram had taken in the previous year.