Nigeria Kidnapped Girls

Women are children rescued by Nigeria soldiers from Islamist extremists at Sambisa forest sit at back of a pickup truck as the arrived a camp in Yola, Nigeria, Saturday May. 2, 2015. The first group of nearly 300 Nigerian girls and women released from Boko Haram were brought by the military to the safety of a refugee camp in the country’s northeast Saturday evening. More than 677 females have been released this week, as the Nigerian military continues its campaign to push the Islamic extremists out their last remaining strongholds in the Sambisa Forest. ( AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian troops rescued 25 more children and women from Boko Haram early Wednesday as the soldiers destroyed seven more of the extremists’ camps in a northeastern forest stronghold, the army spokesman said.

Many militants were killed in “a fierce encounter” that cost the life of one soldier and wounded five, Col. Sani Usman said in a statement.

The military has reported saving about 700 children and women in recent days as soldiers supported by air raids have advanced further into the last hideouts of Nigeria’s home-grown Islamic extremists.

It is unclear if those rescued include the schoolgirls kidnapped a year ago from a boarding school in Chibok town. Dozens escaped but 219 remain missing.

In this photo made available by the Nigerian Military taken Tuesday, April 28, 2015, Nigerian military personnel in action during an attack on Islamic extremists in the Sambisa Forest, Nigeria. Nigeria’s military rescued 234 more girls and women from a Boko Haram forest stronghold in the country’s northeast, an announcement on social media said Saturday, May 2, 2015. (Nigerian Military via AP)

A 3-month-old multinational offensive has driven Boko Haram from towns where it had declared an Islamic caliphate. The militants have retreated into the vast Sambisa Forest, where they have planted land mines to impede attacks.

“Our troops are unrelenting in their determined efforts of vanquishing Boko Haram terrorists wherever they are,” Usman said.

On Saturday, the first group of 275 rescued — about 60 women and the rest children — arrived under military escort to the safety of a refugee camp in the eastern city of Yola.

Women and children rescued by Nigerian soldiers from Boko Haram extremists at Sambisa Forest wait for treatment at at a refugee camp in Yola, Nigeria Monday, May 4, 2015. Even with the crackle of gunfire signaling rescuers were near, the horrors did not end: Boko Haram fighters stoned captives to death, some girls and women were crushed by an armored car and three died when a land mine exploded as they walked to freedom. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

They brought news that some women have died in the rescue missions: Boko Haram militants stoned about 10 women to death for refusing to flee with them, several were accidentally crushed by an armored personnel carrier, and three died when they triggered a land mine.

There were some tearful family reunions at the refugee camp this week, the BBC reported in a video showing a teen-age girl being hugged by a woman relative.

Most do not know if their husbands and children still are alive or were killed in the attacks when Boko Haram captured them.

They say the insurgents are running out of ammunition, fuel and food — as can be seen by the sad state of some critically malnourished children.

One 3-year-old died in a Yola hospital just days after being freed, the BBC reported.