Nigerian pro-government vigilantes said they killed 17 Boko Haram Islamist insurgents on Wednesday, while one of their militia members was killed during the battle in the northeast village of Lahou.
The attack happened at about 4 p.m. and the rebel fighters were all teenagers, Apagu Bitrus, a local vigilante militia leader, said by phone from the village in Borno state.
“Our men were able to overpower them,” he said. “We equally seized two vehicles from them.”
Boko Haram has killed thousands of people in its six-year campaign to impose its version of Shariah, or Islamic law, in Nigeria. Chadian President Idris Deby said on Wednesday that the group’s leader Abubakar Shekau has been replaced by Mahamat Daoud, who wants to negotiate with Nigeria’s government.
Previous negotiations and ceasefire announcements with Boko Haram claimed by Nigeria’s government have proven to be false.