LAGOS, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The face-off between Nigeria's Joint Task Force (JTF) in the restive northern part of the country and militants of the Boko Haram sect witnessed a bloody encounter on Thursday in Borno and Yobe states with about 95 militants killed.
Heavy gun battle continued as the JTF troops attacked the militants in different locations around Maiduguri and Damaturu, two strongholds of the deadly sect since 2009.
This development came on the heels of security reports that the Boko Haram sect was planning a massive counterattack on strategic economic interests and JTF positions in the northeast region.
Borno and Yobe States are flash points of attacks by Boko Haram since 2009, when the sect launched its insurgency targeting churches, security facilities, schools and villages.
The Nigerian military has been repelling the insurgents' attempts to launch coordinated attacks.
Nigerian troops in Maiduguri, capital of the Borno State, said they destroyed more camps of Boko Haram on Thursday during the ongoing offensive against the sect.
The camps were in Galangi and Lawanti villages within Mainok General Area of Borno. The troops raided the camps and killed 74 suspected Boko Haram militants.
Lt.-Col. Mohammed Dole, the new military spokesman, said the operations which involved ground and aerial assault by the Air Force destroyed identified terrorist camps, killing 74 suspected militants, while others fled with serious injuries.
Two Isuzu tiger pick-up vehicle and five Hilux belonging to the militants were destroyed, he added.
In another operation, the 3 Division Special Operation Battalion in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, confirmed Friday the killing of 21 insurgents in the state.
A statement signed by Capt. Eli Lazarus, spokesman of the battalion, said the insurgents were killed on Thursday, while some weapons and ammunition were recovered during the operation.
Lazarus said four AK47 assault rifles, one FN rifle, one propelled grenade, one rocket propelled grenade bomb, improvised explosive devices and 704 rounds of assorted ammunition were recovered.
He said the insurgents attacked a military check point close to the NNPC mega petrol station on Damaturu-Maiduguri Road.
A 24-hour curfew was imposed across the state to enable troops pursue the fleeing terrorists. Damaturu streets had remained empty with all business premises closed as residents stayed indoors.
Boko Haram has caused thousands of casualties in northern states since 2009.
In the escalation of conflicts between its fighters and the military, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared in May a state of emergency in the northern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
In April, the Nigerian government tried to broker a cease-fire with the sect but failed.