35 Boko Haram militants killed, says JTF


Nigeria’s military said Monday it has killed 35 suspected Boko Haram Islamists in a crackdown on the insurgent group in Damaturu, capital of Yobe state, where the insurgents have been hyper-active.

“The Joint Task Force has succeeded in killing 35 Boko Haram terrorists in shootouts between Sunday evening through Monday,” said Lieutenant Lazarus Eli, the military spokesman in the state.

The authorities imposed a 24 hour curfew on both Damaturu and Potiskum weekend, with soldiers conducting a house-to-house search for hidden weapons.

Sixty suspected Boko Haram members were also arrested, with two soldiers injured.

The curfew has been relaxed and residents are now allowed out of their homes from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm (0600 GMT to 2100), Eli said. The ban on movements in Yobe’s economic capital of Potiskum has also been eased.

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Damaturu has been hit hard by the radical Islamist group which is blamed for more than 1,400 deaths in Africa’s most populous nation since 2010.

Running gun battles between suspected Boko Haram members and the security forces in June put the city under lockdown, with some stranded in their places of work for several days unable to access food and water.

A list of weapons that Eli said were recovered from Boko Haram hideouts included dozens of guns, explosive devices and hundreds of rounds of ammunition as well 32 arrows and two swords, among other items.

Analysts have said the group has purchased arms from markets in neighbouring Niger and has secured some of the weapons that poured out of Libya following the north African country’s civil war.

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