Nigerian troops battle Boko Haram in Lake Chad area

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The full statement by the Army spokesperson reads: "Following confirmed information about the presence of remnants of Boko Haram terrorists in some villages around Ngala, troops of 3 Battalion, 22 Brigade Nigerian Army on Friday along with some Civilian JTF embarked on Fighting Patrol to the area". Brightly dressed families rushed through the crowd in the capital, Abuja, and embraced.

The reunion in Abuja had a celebratory atmosphere, with music and dance.

"I think god for this very wonderful success and privilege - the freedom is super", he said.

The 82 were among the 276 girls who were taken from their boarding school in in the northeastern town of Chibok in 2014 by the militant group, sparking an global campaign to ensure their safe return.

The 82 Nigerian schoolgirls recently released after more than three years in Boko Haram captivity reunited with their families Saturday as anxious parents looked for signs of how deeply the extremists had changed their daughters' lives.

It is unclear when the girls will be returned to the families for good as 21 Chibok girls who were freed in an earlier release have remained in government care since October a year ago.

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"Our joy is never complete until we see the complete 113, because one Chibok girl matters to all Chibok people", said a parent of one of the freed schoolgirls, Yahi Bwata.

The freed hostages mostly included women and children, he noted.

Boko Haram has carried out a wave of suicide bombings, assassinations and abductions in Nigeria, and captured large swathes of territory in the north-east of the country since the beginning of the crisis in 2009.

The release of the 82 schoolgirls this month came after an initial group of 21 girls was released in October.

The freed girls remain in government care - under the eye of security services who are questioning them about their time spent as captives.