Maiduguri - Nigeria's military on Friday said it had killed 50 Boko Haram
Islamists in an operation launched in response to an insurgent attack on
civilians in the northeast.
Gunmen suspected to be from the
violent Islamist sect opened fire in a market on Thursday in the town of
Gajiran, killing 15 people, residents said.
The military sent
troops in pursuit of the attackers backed by air support, the area
military spokesman Sagir Musa told journalists in the northeastern city
"Troops pursued the terrorists to their camps with air support and about 50 insurgents were killed in a shootout," Musa said.
"Troops are pursuing the remnants of the fleeing terrorists by blocking all possible escape routes," he added.
violence occurred in Borno state, Boko Haram's historic stronghold and
where the military has battled insurgents for the past four years.
of the northeast was placed under a state of emergency in May, when the
military launched a major offensive aimed at crushing the Islamists.
phone network has been shut down in Borno state since the emergency
measures were imposed and details of both Islamist attacks and military
operations have been slow to emerge and difficult to verify.
Boko Haram claims it is fighting to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.
insurgency is estimated to have cost more than 3,600 lives, including
killing by the security forces, who have been accused of major abuses.