"Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole deployed in the Cashew Plantation around Bille Shuwa and Alikaranti villages quashed an attempt by Boko Haram terrorists to penetrate Maiduguri metropolis yesterday at about 8.10 pm", he said in a statement.
Benlo Dambatto, an official with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), told the press today that so far 18 bodies have been recovered after the bloody confrontation.
"The insurgents met with stiff resistance of troops who killed 6 of the insurgents and neutralized 7 suicide bombers in the encounter".
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The attackers were trying to infiltrate into the city, said Ba´Kura Abba Ali, a militia leader in the area helping soldiers in fighting Boko Haram. Hundreds of families have been forced to abandon livelihoods and seek shelter in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, where they are living in camps or with host families.
It is the most significant attack on the city since the government said last week that it was in talks with the insurgents.
The military said the incident occurred late on Sunday and included gun battles between government troops and the militants as they tried to enter Maiduguri, a city in northeast Nigeria which is the epicentre of a nine-year conflict with Boko Harm that has caused the deaths of more than 20,000 people.
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The army also confirmed that 15 persons including a soldier lost their lives and 83 others wounded when the insurgents attacked the communities on Sunday.
File: A screen capture taken on November 9, 2014 from a new video released by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram and obtained by AFP shows Boko Haram fighters parading with a tank in an unidentified town. Still reportedly adverse to talks is another faction, known as Shekau.
A second faction, led by Abu Musab al-Barnawi, was behind the abduction of the Dapchi schoolgirls.
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"The gunmen came with the suicide bombers, and as they were engaged by soldiers, some of them sneaked into the confused fleeing crowd and detonated themselves killing about 15 people, leaving over 80 others injured", said Momodu Bukar, an operative of Civilian-JTF.
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