Army soldiers in Nigeria have killed at least 49 members of the Takfiri Boko Haram militant group during operations in the embattled state of Borno over the past two days.
Military officials said troops repelled several surprise attacks by Boko Haram against the towns of Pulka and Bama as well as the city of Maiduguri, some 870 kilometers (540 miles) north of the capital, Abuja, killing 15 militants in the process.
Thirty-four Boko Haram militants were also killed during an army offensive in the town of Alagarno in the same state. Two Nigerian soldiers lost their lives in the gun battle.
At least 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million made homeless since the beginning of the Boko Haram militancy in Nigeria in 2009. The militants have recently pledged allegiance to the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, which is primarily operating inside Syria and Iraq.
Earlier this month, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari suggested that military operations against the Boko Haram militants could be extended as the government is set to miss a self-imposed December 31 deadline to end the militancy.
The Nigerian military has claimed a string of successes against the militants in recent months. There has been, however, no let-up in the Boko Haram violence in Nigeria and neighboring countries.