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Nigeria kills suspected Boko Haram fighters

Military claims to have killed at least 53 fighters, just hours after a suicide bomber targeted Muslims at a mosque.

Last updated: 05 Jul 2014 21:18
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Boko Haram has reportedly killed thousands of people since launching an uprising in 2009

Nigeria's military is claiming to have killed dozens of Boko Haram fighters while repelling an attack on a military base in the northeast of the country

The attack killed at least 53 fighters in Damboa, in the northeasterly Borno state.

Chris Olukolade, Nigeria's defence spokesman, said five soldiers and a senior military officer had also been killed in the exchange of fire on Friday night.

Police blamed Boko Haram for the offensive after fighters attacked the base with rocket-propelled grenades.

A security source said the raid was a revenge mission after dozens of fighters were killed in an air and ground attack on two of their camps in the Yejiwa and Alagarno areas.

In a separate incident, also on Friday, a suicide bomber targeted worshippers at a mosque in a remote village in Konduga in the country's northeast, killing five people and wounding dozens.

A security source told Reuters news agency, Muslims were observing Friday prayers when a pick-up vehicle laden with explosives, detonated a few metres from the mosque.

Mohammadu Sheriff, witness, said he had seen the vigilantes conducting checks on a pick-up van carrying firewood. "Suddenly it exploded."

"It would have been more devastating if the bomber had succeeded in driving near the mosque, which had over a thousand people in it."

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Boko Haram was believed to be behind the attack.

Boko Haram has killed thousands of people since launching an uprising in 2009, and several hundred in the past two months, as it steps up a campaign against the government.

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