Nigerian security forces killed 56 suspected Islamist militants in Borno state and foiled an attack by two suicide bombers who blew themselves up while being pursued, said a spokesman for the army’s counterinsurgency operation, Mustapha Anka.
"The suicide bombers were halted but refused to stop" outside Borno’s state capital, Maiduguri on Tuesday, he said. "No casualties were recorded on our troops or civilians." The military also freed at least 520 hostages held by Boko Haram during the operation in the country’s northeast, seizing weapons and equipment over the past week, he said.
The group has killed thousands of people since 2009 during its campaign to establish its version of Islamic law in Africa’s biggest economy. It has lost territory under its control in the northeast since early last year as the government and a regional force step up an offensive. The rebels continue carrying out suicide bombings and hit-and-run attacks.