Nigeria's military says the West African nation is prepared to release some of the prisoners it has taken in the country's fight against Islamic extremists.

A short statement Tuesday from Nigeria's Defense Ministry offered no specifics about who would be released or when. The ministry said the releases were "consequent upon the directives" of President Goodluck Jonathan.

A spokesman for Jonathan could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday night.

The statement from the military comes as three states in the country's northeast remain under emergency rule, allowing soldiers to arrest anyone and occupy any building they believe harbors Islamic extremists.

The nation has faced increasingly bloody insurgent attacks from extremists since 2010.