Jihadist group Boko Haram has released about 190 captives from Nigeria's Yobe state between Friday and Saturday (23 and 24 January). The released hostages comprise young men, women and children who were kidnapped on 6 January.

During a raid on Katarko, 12 miles from the state capital Damaturu, Boko Haram militants had abducted 218 people. At least 20 people are still being held, reports Reuters.

"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," said Goni Mali, a community leader of Katarko.

Mass abduction has been a feature of Boko Haram's six-year insurgency to establish an Islamic state in the northeast of the country. The worst hit state is Borno,  followed by Adamawa and Yobe. 

While young men and boys forcibly recruited to fight for the group, women and young girls are forcibly wed to the Islamists.

"They say since you have refused to accept our mode of religious teachings, go and follow your 'Infidels', we hereby order you to leave," said one of the released women. 

Displaced Nigerians fleeing from Boko Haram
Displaced people fleeing from violence are screened by a Joint Task Force officer at the camp for displaced people in Borno state January 19, 2015.Reuters

While Yobe received its citizens back, in neighbouring Borno state, at least 15 people were killed and houses set on fire on Friday. The attack comes ahead of President Goodluck Jonathan's visit to the state capital Maiduguri for his re-election campaign.

"The terrorists attacked Kambari village which is less than five kilometres to Maiduguri around 5:00 am. They killed 15 people and set the entire hamlet ablaze,"  Al Jazeera quoted a security officer as saying. 

Kyallu, a woman who barely fled Kambari with her grandchildren after the attackers killed four of her children, also confirmed the death toll: "The insurgents also killed our village head. In fact, I counted 15 dead bodies".

In the five years that the Sunni jihadist group Boko Haram has been active in northern Nigeria, over one million people have been forced to leave their homes.

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