ABUJA, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- At least 36 extremist militants were killed in airstrikes conducted by troops in northeastern Nigeria in the past two weeks, a military official said Thursday.
Musa Danmadami, a spokesman for the military, told reporters in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, at a press briefing that the airstrikes were aimed at routing out all extremist militants troubling the northeastern part of Nigeria.
Two commanders of the extremist groups Boko Haram and the Islamic States West Africa Province (ISWAP) were among those killed between Sept. 12-15 when the airstrikes hit the general area of the Sambisa Forest, the largest known enclave of the suspected militants, Danmadami said.
A total of 130 civilians were rescued during the military operations, according to the military official. Some 46 Boko Haram militants, as well as 12 suspected logistics suppliers to the militants, were also arrested.
ISWAP has been collaborating with its sister group Boko Haram to establish an Islamist state in northeast Nigeria. The terror groups have also extended their attacks to other countries in the Lake Chad Basin.