Nigeria releases 58 arrested in extremist sweeps

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s military and security forces say they’ve released 58 women and children previously held as suspected fighters in the Islamic insurgency now challenging the nation’s government.

Authorities said Friday they released the prisoners in Adamawa and Borno states, two of the three states now under emergency rule since an order by President Goodluck Jonathan on May 14.

Some of the released boys appeared at a news conference Friday in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. Gov. Kashim Shettima promised cash for those released. The youth told journalists they planted bombs, carried weapons and spied for the Islamic extremist network Boko Haram.

While soldiers fight a new offensive in the northeast against extremists, Nigeria’s government promised the prisoner release in hopes of negotiating a peace with militant fighters.

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