Nigerian legislators have approved a six-month extension for the state of emergency that is governing the country's northeastern states, which have been terrorized by an Islamic uprising.

Wednesday's decision came as the State Security Service paraded five suspected Islamic extremists at a news conference, including Muhammad Nazeef Yunus, a lecturer in Islamic studies at Kogi State University in north-central Nigeria. Yunus, 44, denied to reporters that he recruits for Islamic extremists, saying that he speaks against the militants who are accused of killing hundreds of mainly Muslim civilians in recent months.

Four others arrested in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, claimed that Yunus recruited them.

Three northeastern states have been under a state of emergency since May 14. Troops have driven insurgents from cities but attacks have increased in rural areas.