ABUJA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Nigerian troops have killed 40 gunmen in operations over the past two weeks, a military spokesman said Thursday.
In the northeastern part of the country, at least 18 members of the Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province groups were killed, while over 50 militants were apprehended, said Musa Danmadami, adding that the troops also rescued 119 civilians suspected to have been abducted by the militants.
In the north-central region, eight bandits were killed while five victims of abduction were freed by troops, Danmadami said, adding some 28 bandits were apprehended.
In the northwestern part of the country, government troops killed at least 14 bandits while clearing the enclaves of the criminals, and rescued 16 abducted civilians, he said.
While describing the military's operations as "commendable and successful," Danmadami said a total of 1,506 terrorists and members of their families comprising 154 adult males, 514 adult females, and 838 children, surrendered to government troops at different locations in the theater of operation.
Armed attacks have been a primary security threat in Nigeria's northern and central regions, leading to deaths and kidnappings in recent months.