More than 700 people abducted by the armed group Boko Haram in Nigeria have escaped from captivity, according to a spokesman for the army.
The captives included farmers, fishermen and members of their families, Colonel Timothy Antigha said in a statement on Facebook on Monday.
Boko Haram had kept the villagers as “farm workers” on various islands in Lake Chad, he said, adding that the escapees were found by Nigerian troops near the northeastern town of Monguno, close to Nigeria’s border with Chad.
Two women from the group have since given birth at an army base in Monguno, Antigha said.
Boko Haram, whose name roughly translates to “Western education is forbidden”, has waged an armed campaign to create an Islamic state in northeastern Nigeria.
The eight-year conflict has left at least 20,000 people dead and displaced more than 2.6 million.