The Nigerian military has announced that they have freed 234 women and children who were held hostage by the militant group Boko Haram, within days of a similar operation that saw the rescue of about 300 women.
The government said the victims were rescued from an end of the Sambisa forest, a major hideout of the Islamist group.
The rescued people have been moved to a secure location to undergo screening to ascertain their identities along with the earlier group of freed women.
"Another set of 234 women and children were rescued through the Kawuri and Konduga end of Sambisa forest on Thursday (30 April). They have been evacuated to join others at the place of ongoing screening. This set is in addition to the previous individuals earlier rescued during the ongoing operation in the area," defence ministry spokesperson Chris Olukolade said in a statement.
It is still unclear how many of the freed women are part of the Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted by the insurgents in April last year. The earlier group of hostages comprising 200 girls and 93 women were rescued on Tuesday, 28 April, and none of them turned out to be Chibok schoolgirls.
According to rights groups' figures, more than 2,000 females are suspected to be in Boko Haram's custody undergoing severe mental and physical abuse.
Authorities have said they are pressing ahead with the military offensive against the Islamists as more hideouts are being targeted.
"The assault on the forest is continuing from various fronts and efforts are concentrated on rescuing hostages of civilians and destroying all terrorists' camps and facilities in the forest," Olukolade added.
Officials say most of the victims who have been released need psychological treatment after their trauma while in Boko Haram custody.