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“It was a very tough battle in which more than 18 people were injured,” Yusuf Bello, a 30-year-old resident told the Xinhua Chinese news agency.
According to a state official, the clashes began when people in Benisheik heard that they were about to be attacked by the Boko Haram, and instead mounted an ambush of their own.
The fighting comes two days after the Nigerian military announced that it had killed at least 50 Boko Haram militia it ha been pursuing earlier in the week.
The Nigerian army’s action comes in response to Boko Haram attacks which killed 20 people in the Gajiram and Bulablin villages in the country’s northeast.
“Troops pursued the terrorists to their camps and with air support about 50 terrorists were killed in a shoot-out,” army spokesman Sagir Musa told reporters in Borno state capital Maiduguri.
“The villages have been rescued from the fangs of the insurgents. Troops are pursuing the remnants of the fleeing terrorists by blocking all possible exit routes,” Musa said.
Boko Haram debuted on the Nigerian stage in 2002 and has been calling for an end to secular-based law, to be replaced with Islamic Sharia law. It has been fighting government forces ever since.