71 women, children rescued from Boko Haram

Women attend a demonstration calling on Nigeria’s government to rescue kidnapped school girls on Thursday, May. 1, 2014.

Maiduguri, Nigeria — Nigeria’s military says soldiers rescued 71 girls and women in firefights that killed several Boko Haram militants in the country’s northeast.

Some of the captives say they were in the clutches of the Islamic extremists for as long as a year.

One young woman, Yagana Kyari, says she was just “waiting for death” because the jihadis constantly threatened to kill their victims.

Army spokesman Col. I. T. Gusau says 12 people were rescued on Wednesday and 59 on Thursday from villages about 25 miles from Maiduguri, the biggest city in the northeast.

Hundreds of captives were freed in March when Nigeria’s military declared it had seized back all towns held by Boko Haram. But the extremists continue to launch suicide bombings and attacks from remote villages.