KADUNA, Nigeria - The Nigerian army said soldiers killed five "suspected terrorists" and destroyed a bombmaking factory on Thursday in the northern city of Kaduna where the Islamist sect Boko Haram is active.

Kaduna, in the mainly Muslim north, has been the target of several attacks by Boko Haram since the group's low-level insurgency intensified over two years ago. Boko Haram has killed hundreds this year in a campaign to impose Islamic sharia law in northern Nigeria. The sect is the biggest threat to stability in Africa's biggest oil exporter.

"On the approach to the factory, some suspected terrorists opened fire and also threw already primed Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) at the troops," Kaduna Army spokesman Sani Kukasheka Usman said in a statement.

"The exchange of fire that ensued resulted in the death of five terrorists, while two that sustained various degrees of injuries are being treated."

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger