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Army comes out on top after Boko Haram battle

14 August 2013, 18:24

Yola - Soldiers killed two top commanders of the Boko Haram during a four-hour gun battle in Adamawa State, the military said on Wednesday.

Mohammad Bama and Abubakar Zakariya Yau were arrested near the town of Mubi last week and confessed they planned an operation in Taraba state to the south, Mubi Army Chief Beyidi Marcus Martins told reporters.

News24 reported Bama's death on Wednesday morning.

The men, who had bounties of 10 million naira ($62,200) on their heads, died in a gun battle that erupted after they took army officers to show them their hideout in Mubi. Several other sect members were also killed, Martins said.

There was no independent confirmation of the circumstances surrounding the men's death and Boko Haram has not commented publicly on the loss of its commanders.

Human rights groups have accused soldiers of carrying out extra-judicial killings during their fight against Boko Haram. The army has always denied the accusations.

The group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, said in a video distributed to journalists on Monday that the army was lying about successes against his fighters, who had "killed countless soldiers" in recent weeks and would kill more.

"Despite the numerous arrests of suspected terrorists and continuous reports of the success of military offensives, there are still legitimate concerns over whether the ongoing security operations could really result in the resolution of the insurgency," a security source told Reuters on Wednesday.

- Reuters


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