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Boko Haram in Nigeria Kill 13 People, Army Strikes Back, 178 Captives Saved

© REUTERS / Emmanuel BraunNigerien soldiers hold up a Boko Haram flag that they had seized in the recently retaken town of Damasak, Nigeria, March 18, 2015
Nigerien soldiers hold up a Boko Haram flag that they had seized in the recently retaken town of Damasak, Nigeria, March 18, 2015 - Sputnik International
Militants, believed to be from Boko Haram, launched an attack on a village in Nigeria, killing 13 people Sunday, according to witnesses. The Nigerian air force has repeatedly bombed terrorists' positions and the army announced it has rescued 178 captives.

Boko Haram — also known as ISWAP — jihadists allegedly stormed a village in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno early on Sunday, killing 13 residents and injuring 27 more, including women and children, AFP news agency reports.

"They also set many houses ablaze after accusing us of telling soldiers their whereabouts," local farmer Moha Saleh told AFP.

Another local, vigilante Goni Musa, who has been fighting against the Boko Haram jihadists alongside the Nigerian military, also described the course of the attack.

"They burnt down houses and shops before they left, yelling 'Allahu Akbar' (God is great). Our terrorized women and children fled into the bush and returned to Maiduguri this morning," he was quoted as saying by AFP.

The sign , a reminder of Islamic extremists, reads  Al Hesbah, together for the pleasure of God almighty and the struggle against sins. - Sputnik International
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Maiduguri, the capital of the Borno State, the heartland of the ISWAP insurgency, is situated nearly 20 km (12 miles) from the Malari village, where the Sunday attack was staged.

"This morning 13 bodies were recovered, some had been shot in the back, which means they were fleeing when the terrorists killed them," Maiduguri added.

Malari Village has been the target of many recent assaults by jihadists. Two female suicide bombers carried out attacks in the village on July 3rd, with a death toll of 13 people. Earlier in July, ISWAP militants claimed responsibility for massacring scores of people in attacks on mosques in three different villages across the state. Bomb and gun attacks have intensified this summer in Borno, which has been in a state of emergency since May, 2013.

As a response, the Nigerian Air Force successfully conducted several air strikes, killing "large numbers" of the Boko Haram fighters, as reported Sunday by AFP.

"The Nigerian Air Force using its Alpha-Jet provided combat air support to the ground force to attack the insurgents where they were observed to be mopping up to carry out a deadly attack on the village. Consequently, a large number of the insurgents were killed and several others were injured," Air Commodore Dele Alonge, Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, said in a statement, without giving the incident any timeframe.

Late Sunday, the Nigerian military announce they rescued 178 people in Borno State from ISWAP captivity, Reuters news agency reported.

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On Friday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, claimed that the use of a new multinational 8,700-strong force, comprising military units from neighboring Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin, which is about to enter the battle, will "lead to the speedy defeat and elimination of Boko Haram." Buhari won the March, 2015 election on a promise to defeat the jihadists.

Boko Haram began launching attacks across northeastern Nigeria in 2009 and expanded them to Cameroon in 2013, moving on to Chad and Niger in 2015. The extremists want to establish an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law in the region. In total, more than 15,000 have lost their lives in Boko-Haram-staged terror attacks.

Women and children rescued by Nigerian soldiers from Boko Haram extremists at Sambisa Forest wait for treatment at a refugee camp in Yola, Nigeria. - Sputnik International
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Boko Haram, which in Hausa means "western education is forbidden," was initially associated with al-Qaeda, before it pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group, amid ISIL advances in Iraq and Syria, in March 2015, and changed its name to Islamic State's West Africa Province (ISWAP). ISIL, a radical Sunni group, wants to establish an Islamic caliphate on the territories it has ceased.

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