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50 Boko Haram militants killed in clashes: Nigerian Army

25 December 2013 7:35

341764_Nigeria-Boko-HaramThe Nigerian army says it has killed at least 50 members of the Boko Haram militant group on the run towards neighboring Cameroon.

The army said on Tuesday that the battle, which took place on Monday, also left 15 soldiers and five civilians dead.

Army spokesman Brigadier General Chris Olukolade said the Nigerian forces targeted militants behind Friday’s attack in Bama, an area in the country’s volatile northeastern state of Borno, Reuters reported.

Olukolade added that 20 vehicles used in that raid had been located from the air and destroyed.

“Although a good number of the insurgents escaped with bullet wounds, while some have been arrested, over 50 of them died in the course of exchange of fire with ground troops in the operations to apprehend fleeing terrorists,” said the army spokesman.

Meanwhile, an attendant form Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, the main mortuary for the region, said at least 20 soldiers were killed in Friday’s attack. The army had not disclosed any death toll.

“There is no space left in the mortuary because the military brought in more than 20 dead soldiers killed in the Bama attack,” said the mortuary attendant on condition of anonymity.

“These four were left on the floor as we’re waiting for space to be created before we put them in,” he added, pointing to four bodies wrapped in shrouds.

On May 15, the Nigerian army launched an offensive against the militant group a day after President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the three northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa.

Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly gun and bomb attacks in various parts of Nigeria since 2009.

Over the past four-and-a-half years, violence in the north of Africa’s most populous country has claimed the lives of more than 3,600 people, including killings by the security forces.

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