Clashes between Boko Haram, Nigeria vigilantes kill 18

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The army has encouraged vigilante groups to help fight Boko Haram.
An attack by suspected Islamic sect members on a town guarded by a vigilante group in northeast Nigeria on Sunday killed at least 18 people and injured 17, residents and a government official said. 
Sunday\’s attack in Benisheik, 72km west of Maiduguri, took place days after the military said it killed at least 50 fighters in an area to the north.
Zannah Fannami, an injured operative with the Civilian Joint Task Force, said they were attacked while awaiting Boko Haram\’s approach on the town.
He said the vigilante group was able to kill five suspected members of the armed group. Another Civilian-JTF operative, Muhammed Abuwar, said the military did not assist the vigilantes and 18 others were injured.
The spokesman for that division, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, said that brigade troops were sent to the area and "the attack was repelled".
Troops are still searching for fleeing insurgents, he said.
There has been a rash of attacks by suspected Boko Haram members in northeast Nigeria recently, after young vigilantes formed the Civilian-JTF in June.
The vigilante force claims credit for thousands of arrests in Maiduguri and many killings.
More than 160 people were killed in violence linked to Boko Haram last month – one of the bloodiest periods since President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency and a military crackdown in three northeastern states in mid-May.
Since 2009, an estimated 3,600 people have been killed in an insurgency launched by Boko Haram, which says it wants to establish an Islamic state in the northeastern part of the country.
Source: Agencies

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