UN gets release of 876 children detained by Nigeria military

The U.N. Children's Fund says it has negotiated the release of 876 children detained at a Nigerian army barracks that holds people suspected of helping the Boko Haram extremist group.

West Africa director Manuel Fontaine says the agency fears more children are at least temporarily detained.

He spoke Friday following a visit to Maiduguri, the northeastern city that is home to the army's Giwa Barracks.

The Associated Press has documented the deaths of thousands of detainees there. Amnesty International this year called for its closure, saying that babies and children are among many detainees dying from disease, hunger, dehydration and untreated gunshot wounds.

Fontaine says the children had been living in Boko Haram-held areas and were detained when those areas were liberated.

Nigeria's army denies ill-treating detainees.