MAIDUGURI (AFP) – Nigeria’s Joint Military tasks Force (JTF) on Friday said it killed 17 insurgents in raids on two “terrorist camps” in the embattled northeastern state of Borno, the base of Islamist group Boko Haram.
The military “conducted two special operations supported by Nigerian Airforce helicopter gunship to dislodge Boko Haram terrorist camps,” a statement from spokesman Lt. Col. Sagir Musa said, adding “there was a fierce exchange of gunfire that resulted in the death of 17” insurgents and one soldier.
The statement is the first recent confirmation of a Boko Haram training camp or base, although the military has frequently commented on insurgent safe houses in urban settings.
Musa claimed the insurgents were using territory in the Sambisa Game Reserve and in an area called Ruwa Forest.
“The camp was…fortified and had training facilities,” the statement further said.
“Efforts by the JTF (Joint Task Force) to destroy the camps led to a fierce exchange of fire that resulted in the death of 17 Boko Haram terrorists and one JTF personnel was killed,” it continued, referring to the January 30 and 31 raids.
Boko Haram, blamed for killing hundreds in the area since 2009, has said it is fighting to create an Islamic state in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north