Boko Haram, which wants to impose sharia law in Nigeria’s north, and other spin-off Islamist groups, had become the biggest threat to the country’s stability, Reuters reports.
In mid-May, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency and launched an offensive against the group in its stronghold in the northeast. The insurgency was initially weakened but remains active and is stretching the army.
Boko Haram gunmen on Sunday attacked a police base in Bama, a town close to the Cameroon border that has been frequently hit by violence in recent months.
“Troops have successfully repelled Boko Haram terrorist attacks on a police base in Bama … on August 4,” said military spokesman Sagir Musa.
Musa, a Nigerian Army Lieutenant Colonel, said one policeman and 17 members of Boko Haram were killed during the fighting, while two soldiers were injured.
He said four trucks, three motorbikes, dozens of explosive devices, three rocket-propelled grenades, 10 AK47 rifles and over 100 rounds of ammunition were recovered from the Islamists.
Boko Haram members also attacked a military base used by the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in the town of Malam Fatori, triggering a gun battle that left two soldiers and 15 of its members dead, Musa said.