Nigerian army kills 29 Boko Haram fighters in battles

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Nigerian troops have killed 29 suspected Boko Haram militants in two days of fighting in the northeast, where President Goodluck Jonathan’s forces are trying to stamp out Boko Haram’s four-year-old insurgency, the military said on Saturday.

A raid late on Friday targeted a Boko Haram base in the town of Bita in the Gwoza hills along the Cameroonian border, where the Islamists have set up camp after being pushed out of semi-desert areas further north.

“During the encounter, 20 Boko Haram terrorists were killed, scores of vehicles and 50 motorcycles were destroyed. A soldier was killed and three other soldiers were wounded in the operation,” said Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Dole, a spokesman for Nigerian forces in the northeasterly Borno state.

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In a separate shootout on Thursday in the Damboa region of the same state, the military said it had killed nine militants.

Boko Haram has killed thousands during its struggle to try to impose Sharia or Islamic law on religiously mixed Nigeria.