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18 Killed in Nigerian Military Raid

A Nigerian security official says soldiers backed by helicopter gunships killed 17 militants during raids on two suspected Boko Haram camps in the northeastern Borno state.

Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa says the camps were "fortified" and had training facilities. In a Friday statement, he also said one soldier was killed during the two-day military operation.

There was no immediate reaction from Boko Haram, a militant group that began violent operations against the government in 2009, killing an estimated 3,000 people.

On Monday, a man who claimed to be a Boko Haram commander, Sheik Abu Mohammed Ibn Abdulazeez, declared a unilateral cease-fire and urged the group's members to lay down their arms.

However, it is unclear how many factions of the militant group exist and which ones may take orders from Abdulazeez.

Nigerian authorities welcomed the declaration from Abdulazeez but said they would not stop military operations to maintain security.

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