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Nigerian army claims raid kills 150 'Boko Haram' Islamists

Military officials unavailable to comment on reported Boko Haram ambush, speaking only about purported military strike in Nigeria's northeast

AFP , Wednesday 18 Sep 2013
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A military strike on a Boko Haram camp in Nigeria's restive northeast last week killed 150 Islamists and 16 soldiers, an army spokesman said Wednesday.

The army's claim of a major offensive against the Islamist insurgents on September 12 came after local media reported that Boko Haram had ambushed a group of soldiers in the same area, killing 40 and leaving dozens of others missing.

Military officials were not available to comment on the reported Boko Haram ambush, speaking only about the purported military strike.

Details of last week's military operation had not been previously made public.

"It was a highly fortified insurgent camp with heavy weapons in (northeastern) Borno State," army spokesman Ibrahim Attahiru said, adding that the camp was in the Kasiya forest.

"The army raided the camp on September 12. Some 150 Boko Haram terrorists were killed, while the military lost 16 soldiers. Nine soldiers are still missing," he told AFP.

Borno was placed under a state of emergency in mid-May, when the military shut down the mobile phone network to block Islamists from coordinating attacks amid an operation aimed at crushing the insurgency.

With the communication network switched off, details of attacks have been slow to emerge and difficult to verify.

Residents, victims as well as local political leaders have been largely unreachable, with military statements forming the main source of information in the ongoing offensive against Boko Haram.

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