Two suspected members of the extremist Boko Haram sect and 10 others were killed on Sunday in Zaria, Kaduna State, during an early morning military operation in a suspected hideout, an army statement said.
The agency also destroyed about 27 houses after shooting at a suspected mini bomb factory.
A statement in Zaria by Capt Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Army Public Relations Officer, Depot, Nigerian Army, said the operation followed a tip-off by some good “Samaritans”.
It said: ”In the early hours of Sunday morning, suspected members of Boko Haram engaged our troops and the State Security Service (SSS) in a fierce gun battle in Gaskiya layout, Tukur-Tukur, Zaria.
”Following a tip-off that Boko Haram are planning a major suicide mission in Zaria, Kaduna and Suleja to coincide with the Independence Anniversary celebration, a joint operation was launched on a residential building in Gaskiya layout to flush out the terrorists.
“During the course of the operation, some of the Boko Haram members were killed and others, including a woman, were arrested.
“lt was also discovered that the building was heavily loaded with explosives and being used as a warehouse for the storage of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).”
The statement said that the explosives were meant to inflict maximum casualty on the army.
It said a controlled detonation was carried out by army engineers, adding that investigations had commenced to determine the extent of the involvement of the apprehended people.
NAN learnt that after the operation, the army shot at the suspected mini bomb factory which exploded and destroyed about seven houses and affected 20 others.