In separate statements, defense officials in the capital Abuja and army division commanders in the northeastern state of Borno said 63 members of Boko Haram had died in multiple weekend clashes, the Daily Trust newspaper reported Tuesday.
Fifty-six militants died and two soldiers were injured in ground and air operations in Alafa Forest, said Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, a spokesman for Defense Headquarters.
He said intelligence reports indicated the militants were trying to establish a camp in the forest in an area about 13 miles from a Nigerian military tank base in Bama.
A militant strike on the base Dec. 20 killed 15 soldiers.
In a separate statement, a spokesman for the army's 7th Division said the attack on the militants took place early Saturday. Capt. Aliyu Ibrahim Danja said weapons, vehicles and equipment belonging to the militants were destroyed.
Another seven militants died as they attempted to flee troops of the Multi-National Joint Task Force who had foiled the insurgents' attempt to set up a base on an island in Lake Chad, Olukolade said. Troops were tracking other militants who were attempting to escape into Chad or Niger.
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