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Death toll in Boko Haram attack on Nigerian base rises to 48

More bodies are likely to be recovered as search and rescue missions continue after assault on army post in Borno state.

The number of military personnel killed in a Boko Haram attack on an army post in Nigeria's northeast has risen to 48, according to sources.

The attack took place late on Thursday when scores of fighters in trucks stormed the base at Zari village in Borno state and briefly captured it after intense fighting.

"The casualty toll now stands at 48 with the recovery of 17 more bodies of soldiers in surrounding bushes in Zari by search and rescue teams," a Nigerian military source told AFP news agency.

More bodies are likely to be recovered as search and rescue missions continue.

Boko Haram took weapons and military equipment before they were pushed out of the base by soldiers with aerial support.

Increased attacks on military

More than 20,000 people have been killed since Boko Haram launched an armed campaign in northeast Nigeria nearly a decade ago. Over two million others have been forced from their homes.

In recent months, the armed group has intensified attacks on military targets.

On July 14, Boko Haram fighters overran a military base in Jilli village, in Yobe state, when dozens of troops were said to be been killed, wounded or missing.

Soldiers and civilians have also been targeted in separate attacks in neighbouring Chad and Niger.

The assaults appear to undermine repeated claims by the Nigerian military that Boko Haram had been defeated.

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