Not less than seven persons kidnapped by Boko Haram on Tuesday have been freed, by the Nigerian Army, an official has said.
According to a media report, a yet to be confirmed number of oil explorers hired by the state oil firm, NNPC, were kidnapped by the terror group, alongside their security aides.
The victims were part of the team exploring for crude in the Lake Chad basin.
Report reaching journalists in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital suggest that at least seven of the abducted persons including members of the NNPC exploration crew were freed after a rescue-mission embarked upon by a joint force of soldiers and local security personnel.
The council chairman of Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State, Zanna Modu, informed journalists via a phone interview that the rescue was effected on Wednesday after a heated gun battle between soldiers and members of the terror group.
Mr. Modu said of the abducted persons, the troops were able to rescue four Civilian-JTF members, two NNPC personnel and a staff of the University of Maiduguri.
The NNPC had confirmed to a media source that it subcontracted part of the exploration to the Geology department of the University of Maiduguri.
The chairman said a large number of Boko Haram fighters were killed during the shootout.
He added that some vehicles belonging to the NNPC were also recovered.
The University of Maiduguri authorities have declined comment on the abduction incident, citing security concerns.
It is not yet clear if any of the abducted oil workers or their security aides still remain with the Boko Haram.