Hospital sources say a total of 72 corpses were registered at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, while another 45 have been taken to the mortuary at the Borno State Specialist Hospital.
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured all Nigerians that the days of Boko Haram are numbered.
Boko Haram has used Banki to launch cross-border attacks, including in and around the Cameroon town of Amchide, where the Islamists clashed with security forces and there were failed suicide attacks Tuesday.
Army spokesman Sani Usman told AFP it was not immediately clear whether all those rescued had been kidnapped an established tactic in Boko Haram’s quest for a hardline Islamic state in the region.
There was no independent verification of the army’s claims and the military has previously claimed gains, making observers cautious. Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau last weekend dismissed the military’s assertion the group was a spent force as “lies”.
He said a bomb explosion from a suicide bomber hit the Onion section of a local market at Monguno on Sunday evening, which resulted in the death of not less than 27 persons, mostly traders.
“President Buhari’s thoughts and prayers for Divine solace are with all those who have been callously plunged into mourning by mindless terrorists, when others are celebrating this year’s Eid-El-Kabir [25 September],”Buhari’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, said in a statement”.
Authorities passed the ban days after three attacks killed 54 people in Maiduguri.
Three states – Adamawa, Borno and Yobe – have been under a state of emergency since May 2013, due to Boko Haram’s attacks.
“We have an obligation of reaching out to the families of these heroes to give them shoulders to cry on, acknowledge the extraordinary courage of their loved ones and celebrate the Sallah with them by extending hands of goodwill in the most respectable manner that their loved ones very well deserve after giving up their own lives so that we can live”, Governor Shettima was quoted to have said”.