Nigeria’s military says it has killed as many as 38 fighters from the armed Boko Haram group during operations in Borno State.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Colonel Mohammed Dole of the Nigerian army said the troops of 195 Battalion in Damboa “successfully repelled planned Boko Haram terrorists’ attack” on residents and a military camp in Damboa, in Borno state.
“In the early hours (0100 hours) of Thursday 9 January 2014, the insurgents attempted to attack Damboa to cause havoc and mayhem.
“But due to timely information and gallantry displayed by the troops, the attack was repelled and inflicted heavy casualty on the terrorists,” Dole said.
While 38 fighters died, others fled with “various degrees of injuries”, he said.
“Combined ground troops and Nigerian Air Force aircraft are tactically pursuing the fleeing terrorists in the ongoing operation in the general area of Damboa and surrounding villages,” he said.
Three vehicles were destroyed and one of them was found to have cylinders and improvised explosive devices.
Weapons and ammunition, including machine guns, were also recovered.
The US had in November last year designated Boko Haram a “foreign terrorist organisation” in November.
The group says it is fighting Western influence and wants to create an Islamic state in the country’s mainly Muslim north since 2009.
Attacks by the group killed more than 1,200 people, including civilians, army personnel as well fighters killed by security forces repelling attacks, between May and December.