Nigerian troops have thwarted a Boko Haram attack in the country’s volatile northeast, killing 16 insurgents while 12 soldiers were wounded, an army spokesman said Monday. Troops “successfully repelled” the Boko Haram attack in the town of Kangarwa on Sunday, Colonel Sani Usman said in a statement. The military “rose to the occasion and dealt a decisive blow on the insurgents by killing 16,” he said, adding: “Unfortunately, an officer and 11 soldiers were wounded in action during the encounter.”
A cache of arms and ammunitions were recovered from the insurgents, he said. Usman said the military rescued five people held by the jihadists in the village of Dogon Chikun early Monday during an operation to clear the area of Islamists. Boko Haram, which seeks to impose strict Islamic law in northern Nigeria, has been blamed for some 20,000 deaths and displacing more than 2.6 million people since 2009. A counter-offensive spearheaded by Nigeria since January last year has recaptured swathes of territory lost to the Islamist militants in 2014. On Sunday, Boko Haram released a video showing at least one of 218 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok more than two years ago.