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July 05, 2014

Nigeria: Dozens of Boko Haram Militants Killed

by VOA News

In Nigeria, gunmen believed to be members of Islamist militant group Boko Haram have attacked a military base in the northeastern town of Damboa.

A Nigerian army spokesman says troops killed 53 Boko Haram militants during the attack, and that six soldiers were also killed.

Residents interviewed by a journalist working for VOA's Hausa service said four police officers, four civilians and 12 soldiers were killed, including the commanding officer of the base.

Some local residents say the militants set a number of buildings on fire, including a police station in the Friday night attack. A Borno police spokesman confirmed the Friday night attack on the base but provided no further details.

Damboa is Borno state and near the village of Chibok, where Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in April. The girls are still being held hostage.

Members of the Chibok community on Friday held a news conference in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, calling on the government to negotiate with Boko Haram to secure the girls' freedom.

Chibok residents also called for greater security to protect their village and surrounding areas from the militants.

Nigeria's military has come under growing criticism that it is not doing enough to stop Boko Haram attacks.

Boko Haram has killed thousands in its terror campaign to turn northern Nigeria into a conservative Islamic state.

Some information for this report comes from AFP and Reuters.