World Bulletin/News Desk
Nigerian group Boko Haram released about 190 captives, who returned to their community in the northeast state of Yobe between Friday and Saturday, while other people were still being held, local and state officials said.
"The people will be presented to the government tomorrow (Sunday) for assistance as their houses were set ablaze when the insurgents attacked the village, Katarko in the Gujba local council," Goni Mali, a community leader of Katarko said.
Abdullahi Bego, spokesman for the state governor, said the militants released young men, women and children who were kidnapped on Jan 6. At least 20 other people were still being held.
Some of the women who were released said the militants let them go after they resisted following the rules of the group.
"They say since you have refused to accept our mode of religious teachings, go and follow your 'Infidels', we hereby order you to leave," one of the women said.
The group frequently raids towns and kidnaps young men, women and children as well as some foreign workers. A German national was freed in Cameroon last week after being abducted in Nigeria's Adamawa state in July.
In neighbouring Borno state, at least 14 people were killed and houses set on fire on Friday in a suspected Boko Haram attack on the village of Kambari, 5 kilometers from state capital Maiduguri, a military source and eye witnesses said.
Meanwhile, suspected Boko Haram militants began attacking Nigeria's major northeastern city of Maiduguri just after midnight on Sunday, military, government and local sources said.
At around 9 am (0800 GMT) on Sunday, a Reuters witness said shelling could be heard and that military helicopters were circling the city.
All roads have been closed, a security source said, and commercial activity has been shut down.
The militants began the attack at the edge of the city in the Njimtilo area. The city is the capital of Borno state and would be a major prize for the insurgents.
The army's inability to squash the group has become a major headache for President Goodluck Jonathan, who is seeking re-election in February. Jonathan visited the state capital on Saturday as part of his campaign and opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari was due to arrive Monday.
The insurgents last attempted to take Maiduguri from the same area in December 2013 and attacked a nearby army and airforce base.
A resident, Rachel Adamu, who lives around Njimtilo said "please pray for us, we are in danger, under serious attack now."Last Mod: 25 Ocak 2015, 11:58