Nigerian military officials reported a major overnight gunbattle in the Yobe capital of Damaturu, claiming to have killed 35 members of Boko Haram and only had two soldiers wounded in the fighting, which carried on into early Monday.
The fighting was part of a broad crackdown around northern Nigeria targeting the group for the past several weeks, and offiials in another province reported 156 Boko Haram members arrested in operations there.
Officials say that the crackdown has “weakened” the group considerably, though it has not stopped the ongoing suicide bombing campaign, which continued yesterday with an attack on a church in Bauchi.
The military has claimed victory over Boko Haram before, notably back in 2009 when they moved to “wipe out” the faction, which was then much smaller and armed only with swords. Since then the group has grown dramatically and acquired high tech weapons and explosives.