ABUJA, Nigeria

Nigerian special forces eliminated 41 Boko Haram fighters in the country’s northeastern Borno state Monday. 

Mohammed Yerima, a spokesman for the Nigerian Army, said in a statement that an anti-terror operation was carried out in Gulwa and Musuri villages in the Gamboru Ngala local government area.

The army also recovered sophisticated weapons and rescued 60 women and children who were being held by the terrorists, he said.

He added that four soldiers were killed and many others were injured during the operation.

Boko Haram launched a bloody insurgency in 2009 in northeastern Nigeria but later spread its atrocities to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a military response.

More than 30,000 people have been killed and nearly 3 million displaced in a decade of Boko Haram’s terrorist activities in Nigeria, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Violence committed by Boko Haram has affected some 26 million people in the Lake Chad region and displaced 2.6 million others, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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