Just this Wednesday, the federal government reiterated that it has defeated Boko Haram.

But no sooner had that statement greeted the press than suspected members of the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency killed at least 15 people in an attack on a group of villages in Borno State.

This is according to residents who spoke with Reuters news agency late on Wednesday.

The villages lie on the outskirts of the militarised city of Maiduguri, the heart of government in the northeast and the headquarters of efforts to defeat Boko Haram.

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Despite the Nigerian government’s statements since late 2015 that Boko Haram has been largely defeated, the militancy is still able to attack in and around Maiduguri and throughout much of the northeast.

In the village of Kofa, a Reuters reporter counted five bodies burned inside the remains of their house.

A village chief in nearby Dalori said one person in the camp for displaced people had been killed, while two residents of Bulabrin said nine people had died there.

Meanwhile the military has a different account of the incident and casualties.

The military said in a statement that it was only one civilian that was found dead, after Boko Haram had ransacked Dalori’s market, setting buildings on fire and fleeing when soldiers approached.

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