Nigeria army kills 12 suspected fighters

Nigeria's army has killed 12 suspected fighters from the Boko Haram Islamists during a raid in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the group's base, a military spokesman told AFP on Monday.

Spokesman Hassan Mohammed of the Joint Task Force said there was a shootout in the city late Sunday between soldiers and "gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram... in the encounter 12 members of Boko Haram were killed."

Residents said that raid came in response to a Boko Haram attack against the military in the violence-plagued city.

They accused the army of going on a rampage in one neighbourhood after the Islamist attack, forcing some residents to flee their homes.

Asked about the crackdown and reports of military misconduct, Mohammed said: "It was also observed that some individuals are still allowing their places of worship, business centres and residences to be used by Boko Haram against security agencies."

"Such acts immediately make such places to be targets and the JTF is ready to deal with the issue appropriately," he said.

The JTF is special squad established to combat Boko Haram, a extremist group with unclear motives that has killed more than 200 people already this year in Africa's most populous nation.

Maiduguri has seen some of the worst violence.

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