ABUJA, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Twenty suspected Boko Haram fighters were killed in a military operation by troops in Nigeria's northeastern state of Borno, where the headquarters of the outlawed sect is located, local authorities said in Abuja on Thursday.
In a statement, spokesperson of the Nigerian military headquarters, Chris Olukolade said troops in the northeast region of Nigeria also foiled an attack by suspected members of Boko Haram, a sect which seeks to enshrine the Islamic Sharia law in the constitution of the secular West African country.
"Attempts by terrorists to attack Ajiri and Mafa as well as other communities in the outskirt of Maiduguri and Dikwa in Borno State towards the Cameroon borders on Wednesday were foiled by the security forces," said Olukolade.
"The ambush mounted by the terrorists to enable them to unleash terror on the communities unchallenged, was also cleared by troops on reinforcement mission," said Olukolade.
According to the military mouthpiece, apart from various arms and explosive devices that were recovered from the overpowered Boko Haram fighters, more camps of the sect were destroyed during the military operation at various forests and mountain locations around Borno State and its sister state of Adamawa.
The Boko Haram, which has proved 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 northeast region.
Last week, more than 29 students of a local college were gruesomely wiped out in a horrendous attack in Yobe State, one out of the three states including Adamawa and Borno, where an emergency rule subsists.
President Goodluck Jonathan, during a periodic media chat last week, said his administration was intensifying efforts to end the insurgency as the military was particularly making efforts to chase the attackers to the fringes of the West African country.
"For the avoidance of any doubt, it is hereby restated that the Nigerian military cannot by any standard be overwhelmed by the insurgents, neither will the devious antics of their sympathizers and sponsors demoralize the fighting spirit of troops," Olukolade reiterated on Thursday.