KANO, Nigeria - Nigerian security forces said on Saturday they had killed 52 Islamist militants over 10 days of fighting in the northeasterly Borno state, at a cost of only two of their own men, with no civilian deaths.
The announcement came a day after President Goodluck Jonathan paid a visit to the state in which he rejected the idea of an amnesty for the Islamist sect Boko Haram, which has killed hundreds in gun and bomb attacks in the past two years.
The Islamists are seen as the main security threat to Africa's top energy producer, although their sphere of influence is far from the crucial oil fields in the south.
Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, spokesman for the mixed military and police joint task force (JTF) in Borno state, said in a statement that a series of operations had been conducted against Islamists over the past 10 days.
"During these operations under the period stated, there were exchanges of fire that led to the death of 52 Boko Haram terrorists including 10 commanders of the sect," he said.