Abuja: Nigerian soldiers raided a hideout for Islamist extremist group Boko Haram in northern state of Kano, sparking a gun battle that left 15 people dead.
They said the extremists were planning an Easter day attack just like they normally do on Christian holidays.
"The operatives of the Joint military task force (JTF) in Kano killed fourteen suspected Boko Haram members during a gun duel when we attacked their hideout at Yan`Awaki area of Unguwa Uku quarters in Kano metropolis,"Spokesman of the Joint military task force (JTF) Captain Ikedichi Iweha told PTI on Phone.
A soldier was also killed in the attack, a residents said, heavy explosion where heard at the area, when the security men arrived in the wee hours of Sunday.
The soldiers also claimed to have foiled a suicide bomb attempt when a vehicle loaded with prime explosives devices (IEDS) was intercepted at Yan`Awaki area of Unguwa uku of the metropolis.
We recovered cache of arms from the vehicle, Iweha said. He said one soldier also sustained injuries when the JTF operatives met stiff resistance while confronting the extremists.
"We are working very hard and security will not relent in their effort to ensure peace and stability in the state, while appealing to the people to continue supporting the security agencies in the effort to provide peace in the state," Iweha said.
Boko Haram`s attacks during Christian holidays had left scores of people killed. Last year, 41 persons were killed by the group in another northern city of Kaduna.
During an attack last year in the city of Kano, 185 persons died through suicide bombings, shootings and bomb blasts.
The group has promised to fight the Nigerian government until it concedes to its demand of allowing it to carve out an Islamic caliphate out of northern Nigeria.