The Defence Headquarters said on Monday that troops had freed a number of women, elderly and children locked up by fleeing terrorists in Gwoza.
This information is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen Chris Olukolade.
The statement said the hostages were rescued during a cordon and search, while mop-up operations would continue in Gwoza.
It said the freed hostages, some of whom were were weak, were being given medical attention while others were receiving necessary care, pending the arrival of aid agencies.
Some of them, it said, were also providing useful information for troops operations in the area.
According to the statement, a building which had been converted to a bomb making factory had been uncovered by troops in the course of the ongoing mopping up operations in the town.
It said facilities used for the manufacture of various calibres of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were still being carefully evacuated.
The defence spokesman further said in the statement, that “massive” destruction of infrastructure and property including bridges and Emir’s Palace, had been noticeable.
It said that troops were carefully removing land mines placed in various parts of the town and that in Bama, troops on routine patrol in the suburbs of the town on Monday morning recovered a large number of rifles and other arms.
The statement said that the arms were believed to have been abandoned by terrorists who fled the area
“The terrorists fled when troops were advancing to flush them out of the town recently,’’ it said, adding that Bama was liberated by troops on March 16.
It added that the troops were dominating the town with aggressive patrols, to defend it against any further terrorists activities.