Nigerian military: Over 50 attackers die in failed bid to take bases

Updated 12:34 PM EDT, Sun July 6, 2014

Story highlights

Nigerian defense ministry: "Terrorists" try to storm troops' bases, police stations

The attack is repelled; 5 Nigerian soldiers and a senior killed in the defense

The incident was in the northeastern state of Borno, where Boko Haram is active

CNN —  

Nigeria’s military claimed Saturday that its forces killed over 50 attackers who’d tried to storm bases and police stations in the African nation’s violence-ravaged state of Borno.

Most of the troops were out patrolling nearby villages when the fighters, which the military described as “terrorists,” launched their attack Friday night in Damboa, according to a defense ministry statement.

The assault was successfully repelled, the military claimed. Five soldiers and a senior officer died defending their posts, while a number of others were wounded.

The Defense Ministry did not specify who they believe was behind the attack. Local media reports, though, said they belonged to Boko Haram.

If so, it wouldn’t be surprising given the violence that’s been blamed on the Islamist militant group – especially in the northeastern state of Borno, where Friday night’s attack occurred.

In addition to clashes with Nigerian troops and killings of citizens, Boko Haram – which translates to “Western education is sin” – has been connected to bombings of schools, churches and mosques; assassinations of politicians, religious leaders and others; and the kidnapping of women and children.

The most glaring example of the latter was the kidnapping in April of more than 200 girls from a boarding school in Chibok. The girls are still missing.

Nigeria’s defense ministry said Friday that three women were arrested for allegedly secretly recruiting members for the female wing of Boko Haram. Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, director of defense information, claimed the suspects sought recruits “by enticing them with male suitors who are mainly members of their terror group, for marriage.”

Military: Arrested women recruited for Boko Haram

Where are Nigeria’s missing girls? On the hunt for Boko Haram

CNN’s Nana Karikari-apau contributed to this report.