[QODLink]
Africa
Nigeria army 'kills 20 Boko Haram members'
Nigerian military confirms a raid on the group's hideout in the Gwaidamgari area of Maiduguri.
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2012 01:01

Nigerian troops have killed 20 suspected members of the armed group Boko Haram in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the army says, an account quickly denied by the militant group.

Military commander Victor Ebhaleme said one soldier had been killed and two others injured in the raid on Sunday.

"We got a report that some suspected members of Boko Haram were meeting at a particular location in Maiduguri. Our men mobilised, leading to a shootout. Twenty suspected terrorists were killed," Ebhaleme told AFP news agency.

He said no arrests were made during the raid on the hideout in the Gwaidamgari area of Maiduguri, a hotbed of Boko Haram activity.

Boko Haram said on Sunday that none of its members had been killed, accusing the military of killing innocent people in an attempt to dislodge the group.

A spokesman for the group by the name Abul Qaqa, who has spoken to reporters on several occasions, said in a conference call that the claim by the military was false.

"They only succeeded in killing innocent civilians. It is not possible for 20 of our members to sit in a volatile place and hold (a) meeting," said Qaqa.

Maiduguri has been one of the targets of the group's deadly assaults, with scores of people killed in recent months.

The group wants to establish Islamic law in the country, whose large Christian and animist population mainly lives in the south.

Nigerian authorities have recently launched a military assault on suspected Boko Haram operational bases.

President Goodluck Jonathan said in June that Boko Haram was seeking to incite a religious crisis by attacking churches in an attempt to destabilise the government.

The US State Department last month designated three of the group's leaders as global terrorists.

290

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The new military government has issued warnings that it will soon start to clampdown on immigration offenders.
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
join our mailing list