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Nigerian Forces Drive Back Islamic Extremists

FILE - Video screen shot of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau delivering a speech at an undisclosed location, Aug. 24, 2014.

Hundreds of Islamic extremists have surrendered in Nigeria following the military’s recent air and ground attacks against the Boko Haram militant group.

The Nigerian Defense Ministry said Wednesday it has killed hundreds of insurgents in the country’s northeast, including Mohammed Bashir, whom the Nigerian military identified as a double who posed in videos as Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.

The military has claimed Shekau was killed in battle last year.

Nigeria’s military said the group had been trying to take over the town of Konduga, but had been repelled by air and land forces.

Throughout the Boko Haram insurgency, the group has released videos featuring a man claiming to be its leader, Abubakar Shekau, issuing threats and taunting the authorities.

One showed him claiming responsibility for the April abduction of 200 schoolgirls from the remote village of Chibok, which sparked an international outcry. The girls remain in captivity.