Seventeen people have died after a clash between Nigerian soldiers and members of Islamist militant group Boko Haram in the country’s north-east, an army spokesman said on Friday.
The fighters attacked an army base in the village of Abadam in Borno State on Thursday, according to a spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman.
During the two-hour battle, 15 insurgents and two soldiers were killed, said Usman. Four other soldiers were injured, while several Boko Haram members escaped with gunshot wounds.
The army recovered a gun truck, mortar bombs, machine guns and ammunition during the operation, the spokesman said.
Boko Haram threatens communities in the north-east of Nigeria and has also launched offensives in neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon. The group’s goal is to enforce a strict interpretation of Islamic law, known as sharia. Since 2009, at least 14,000 people have died at the hands of the Sunni fundamentalists in Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger. According to the United Nations, an estimated 2.7 million people in the region have fled their homes due to Boko Haram.