Nigerian army kills 10 Boko Haram Islamists
12 September 2013, 20:00
Maiduguri - Nigerian soldiers have killed 10 members of
Islamist sect Boko Haram in the volatile northeast, the military said on
Thursday, as President Goodluck Jonathan pursues a four-month-old offensive
against resilient insurgents.
Over 230 people have been killed in violence linked to Boko
Haram in the last six weeks, according to a Reuters count - one of the
bloodiest periods since Jonathan declared a state of emergency and launched a
military crackdown in three north-eastern states in May.
Boko Haram, which wants to impose strict Islamic law in
northern Nigeria, is considered the biggest security threat to Africa's top oil
exporter and second largest economy.
The air force bombed two of Boko Haram's camps in a remote
and sandy region of Borno state on Tuesday before soldiers pursued fleeing
insurgents, killing 10 in a gunfight, military spokesperson Sagir Musa told
"Following air strikes and subsequent destruction of
Boko camps at Mada ... some troops had an encounter with fleeing Boko Haram
terrorists on the Maiduguri-Damboa road at about 22:00 on Tuesday," he
"Ten terrorists lost their lives, while four AK-47
rifles, 250 rounds of assorted ammunition and 10 Boko Haram motorcycles were
recovered and a soldier was wounded," he added.
The military sometimes exaggerates its successes and plays
down its own casualties and the deaths of civilians, according to residents of
Borno and human rights groups.
Since an uprising in 2009, Boko Haram, which has several
factions and an ill-defined leadership structure, has proven adept at
withstanding military pressure.
The army has mounted wave after wave of attacks hoping to
finish off Boko Haram but militants have typically retreated into the
inaccessible desert, regrouped and rearmed and returned seemingly as strong as