Hundreds of Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria surrendered Friday to the Nigerian army, according to multiple news reports. Two hundred soldiers gave themselves up in an apparent trend that has seen dozens of fighters in the militant organization’s ranks give themselves up over the past few weeks, BBC reported.

The Nigerian army had recently been ramping up its anti-Boko Haram tactics and rhetoric, including announcing this week that nearly 250 women and children had been liberated from the militant group’s hold near Cameroon. Just last week, eight Boko Haram fighters reportedly surrendered to the Nigerian army.

The news of the militants surrendering was confirmed in a statement by a Nigerian army representative.


“During the encounter Nigerian troops not only recaptured the town, but several Boko Haram terrorists were captured alive while the stubborn terrorist armed militants who refused to surrender were killed in the military offensive,” Sani Usman told the Premium Times, a Nigerian media outlet. 

Boko Haram had just hours earlier launched one of its signature raids on a West African village that killed at least 15 people, local news outlet Times Live reported. The victims in the village of N'Gourtoua in the Diffa region near the southern Niger border were either shot or had their throats slit, an unidentified source told Times Live.

Just two days prior to the reported mass surrendering, new Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration vowed that the existence of Boko Haram and the terror it has wreaked on the region for more than six years will be ending “soon.” Buhari’s senior special adviser on media and publicity tweeted virtually the same message Wednesday.


The violence attributed to Boko Haram has killed at least 17,000 people.

Despite the army’s confirmation, some Nigerians are demanding actual proof that those who surrendered were really jihadist soldiers and not just citizens who were freed from Boko Haram’s stronghold in the village, according to the BBC.