Around 150 people have been killed in an attack by Boko Haram militants on the Nigerian town of Baga in the northeastern state of Borno, Nigeria's military says.
"The number of people who lost their lives during that attack has so far not exceeded about 150 ... including ... terrorists who were bearing arms and got killed in the course of ... battle with troops," Defense spokesman Major General Chris Olukolade said on Monday.
The rare official death toll was a reaction to earlier reports which had estimated the number of deaths to be as many as 2,000.
Hundreds of Boko Haram militants started the raid on Baga, which is located close to Nigeria’s border with Chad, on January 3 and seized the town and neighboring villages as well as a military base.
"Terrible atrocities have been committed against innocent Nigerians in Baga by the rampaging terrorists,” Olukolade added.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” says its goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government.
The terrorist group has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly shooting attacks and bombings in various parts of Nigeria which have claimed the lives of thousands of people since 2009.
According to the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations, the violence, which has forced 1.5 million people to flee their homes, killed over 10,000 people last year alone.
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