Some 13 members of the youth vigilance group assisting the Nigerian military to hunt members of the Islamic sect in the northern part of the country, and five Boko Haram members, were killed in a clash in Benisheik Town, 72km west of Maiduguri, in a clash on Sunday.
According to local media reports on Monday, while 12 vigilance members were killed on the spot, one died in the hospital.
However, military spokesman Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa, who confirmed the clash, said only six youths and five Boko Haram members died.
“Information available to 7th Division of Nigeria Army revealed that at about 12:30am suspected members of BH (Boko Haram) terrorists deceptively attacked youth vigilante at Benisheik headquarters of Kaga local government area of Borno state, Following the attack, 6 vigilante members and five Boko Haram terrorists were killed,’ he said.
Boko Haram has been targetting members of the vigilance group for reprisal attacks following their (vigilance group) role in apprehending many sect members.
Though the military said it had decimated the sect’s leadership in the offensive it launched since May, when a state of emergency was declared in three states worst hit by the Boko Haram crisis (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe) , indications are that the sect has retained the capability to carry out attacks, especially in remote areas.