"The activities of the Boko Haram group have recently increased in Borno, a state in the northeastern region of Nigeria, which shares a border with Cameroon, Niger and Chad. "
Lagos, July 8 - Nigerian military has commenced air and ground bombardment of Boko Haram camps in the West African country's northeastern state of Borno, killing over 44 terrorists, the authorities said.
Chris Olukolade, spokesperson of the Nigerian military headquarters, said in a statement reaching Xinhua Monday that troops have cleared and taken over Balmo forest in a military operation that lasted throughout the weekend.
He said, prior to the operation, the Balmo forest stretching from Bauchi through Jigawa states with links to the fringes of Sambisa forest was used by terrorists as bases and hideouts for launching attacks.
He added that terrorists and armed gangs operating in the forests were completely rooted out while some were captured during the operation.
Olukolade said among those captured were two foreigners who were suspected to be mercenaries.
Also captured are several weapons and equipment including power generating sets, communication equipment, vehicles, motorcycles, foodstuff and kitchen utensils, he added.
The military spokesperson said over 44 terrorists died in Kerenoa and adjoining communities, following an encounter with the troops.
Troops on routine patrol around Banki and Miyanti in Borno State during the weekend fought through an ambush laid by the terrorists resulting in casualties on both sides.
A total of six soldiers lost their lives in the various encounters with terrorists during the weekend while those wounded were receiving treatment, he added.
The activities of the Boko Haram group have recently increased in Borno, a state in the northeastern region of Nigeria, which shares a border with Cameroon, Niger and Chad.
The Boko Haram, which has turned out to be a major security threat in Nigeria since 2009, has killed hundreds of people in the last three months in many village attacks across three states in the country's northeastern region.