Nigeria claims air strikes "kill 300 Boko Haram fighters"

Nigeria's military claims 300 Boko Haram fighters died in a raid on Friday. The impact of the operation is only now becoming clear. Insurgent leader is also believed fatally wounded.

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Nigeria claims air strikes "kill 300 Boko Haram fighters"

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Nigeria has claimed that the leader of Boko Haram, ‘Abubakar Shekau’ has been “fatally wounded” despite there being no independent confirmation. His death has previously been announced on several occasions.

Nigeria’s military said 300 insurgents in total were killed including several senior fighters in a raid on north-eastern Borno state.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who is visiting Nigeria has warned that the struggle against Boko Haram will succeed only if the government tackles the reasons why people join the militant group and gains the public’s trust.

“Beating Boko Haram on the battlefield is only the beginning of what we need to do. As the American writer Henry David Thoreau wrote: ‘There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil, to only one who is striking at the root.’ So we have to strike at the root causes of violent extremism, “said the US’s top diplomat.

Nigeria has been pushing the United States to sell it aircraft to take on Boko Haram – a group that emerged in the country’s northeast seven years ago. The militants have killed an estimated 15,000 people in their fight to set up an Islamist state.

In a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Kerry promised to seek ways to support Nigeria in its fight against the insurgents, however, under the previous President, Goodluck Jonathan, the Obama administration blocked arms sales partly over human rights concerns.