ABUJA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Eleven Boko Haram militants and five Nigerian troops were killed following a mid-week gunfight in the restive northeast region of the country, the army said on Friday.
The Boko Haram militants laid an ambush for troops near Jakana community in Kaga local government area of the northeastern state of Borno on Wednesday, resulting in a gunfight that lasted about 20 minutes, the army said.
Maj.-Gen. Bulama Biu, the general officer commanding the army in that part of the country, told Xinhua that two senior army officers and three soldiers were killed while repelling the attack.
"The fleeing terrorists were overwhelmed by the superior firepower of the gallant troops," Biu told Xinhua in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno.
The army commander said apart from the 11 Boko Haram fighters killed, many others were also wounded during the gunfight. A number of high-profile terrorists were also captured by the troops.
According to him, the troops were returning to base in Damaturu, capital of the neighboring Yobe State, after attending an anti-terrorism program in Maiduguri, when the Boko Haram terror group attacked the convoy of the senior army officers.
"We have embarked on hot pursuit of the fleeing terrorists, and we have also commenced a mop-up or combing of the general area," said the troops' commander.
Boko Haram, which launched attacks in Nigeria's northeast a decade ago, is known for its agenda to maintain a virtual caliphate in the most populous African country.