Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

Nigerian forces kill 13 Boko Haram militants after church attacks

Who are Boko Haram?

    Just Watched

    Who are Boko Haram?

Who are Boko Haram? 03:19

Story highlights

  • One soldier is killed in the gunfight
  • Boko Haram's name means "Western education is sacrilege"
  • A January 2012 militant attack killed 211
  • State Dept.: Group has ties to al Qaeda

Islamist militants in Nigeria's restive north have taken the lives of 34 people since Christmas, including 27 Christians attending church services.

On Tuesday, the country's military took the fight to Boko Haram's stronghold, killing 13 suspected combatants.

Read more: Nigeria guilty of abuses in pursuing Boko Haram militants

Joint Task Force Operation Restore Order lost one soldier during the afternoon gunfight in the isolated town of Maiduguri in Nigeria's far northwest corner, said spokesman Sagir Musa.

The task force condemned alleged Boko Haram attacks going back to July 2012 in a statement, calling them "incessant callous, brutal, barbaric and impious killings." These included attacks on mosques, churches and businesses.

Human Rights Watch said the militant group has killed more than 2,800 people in all.

Boko Haram blamed for attacks in Nigeria

    Just Watched

    Boko Haram blamed for attacks in Nigeria

Boko Haram blamed for attacks in Nigeria 02:27
PLAY VIDEO
Bombs target newspapers in Nigeria

    Just Watched

    Bombs target newspapers in Nigeria

Bombs target newspapers in Nigeria 01:20
PLAY VIDEO

On Christmas Eve, attackers raided two churches, killing 12 people and setting one of the churches alight. Six days later, suspected Boko Haram fighters killed at least 15 Christian worshipers, slitting some of their throats, according to Nigerian authorities.

Read more: 22 killed in three attacks in Nigeria

Boko Haram carried out its largest known massacre in January 2012 killing 211 through coordinated bombings and gun assaults in the northern city of Kano, a popular target. The group often attacks Nigerian police stations.

The name Boko Haram means "Western education is sacrilege."

In the past, they have attacked other Muslims they felt were on an immoral path but have increasingly killed Christians.

The U.S. State Department has accused Boko Haram of attacking mosques and churches to incite tensions between the two religious groups, hoping to drive a wedge between them.

It has condemned some of the group's leaders for alleged ties to al Qaeda.

Read more: Opinion: Nigeria is a sinking ship, but we must not desert it

      CNN Recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.