Nigeria says 70 killed in battle with Islamist group

Reuters , Tuesday 24 Dec 2013

Nigeria's military said on Tuesday it had killed 50 Islamist rebels as they tried to cross the border into Cameroon, engaging them in a fierce gun battle on Monday in which 15 of their own troops and five civilians also died.

Nigerian forces have stepped up a military offensive in the volatile northeast in the past few days, after their barracks at the town of Bama came under attack from Boko Haram fighters armed with grenade launchers and anti-aircraft fire on Friday.

The military often says it has caused significant casualties on the part of the insurgents while rarely admitting them among its own troops or civilians. It is usually not possible to verify them in the remote areas where the fighting occurs.

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