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Nigerian troops killed a suspected commander of the Islamist group Boko Haram and three of his lieutenants during an operation in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the army said Tuesday.
"The commander and his three lieutenants lost their lives during an exchange of fire," Joint Task Force (JTF) spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa said in a statement.
The four suspected militants were killed on Monday in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state and main base of the militant group whose insurgency is believed to have killed at least 3,000 people since 2009.
The Nigerian forces had been combing the city for Boko Haram fighters suspected of involvement in attacks that the army said killed three civilians and left six soldiers wounded last week.