Report: 74 Militants Killed in Nigeria Assault

Latest assault on al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group

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Seventy-four members of an Islamist militant group in Nigeria were killed in an air and ground offensive Thursday, the Nigerian military said Friday.

The assault on militants from Boko Haram led to the destruction of the militant group’s camps in the remote Galangi and Lawanti villages, in the northeast Borno state, Reuters reports.

Nigeria stepped up its attacks on Boko Haram, which is fighting to establish an Islamic state and has links with al-Qaeda’s West Africa wing, in May when President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three northeastern states where the group has its strongest presence. Boko Haram, which roughly translates to “Western education is forbidden,” raided an agricultural college last month and left about 50 students dead. Thousands have died in fighting since 2009, when the militia launched its uprising.

In Kano, the country’s second-largest city, one effort to combat the group is mass marriage. The Kano State Hisbah Board, which implements Islamic law in the state, has spearheaded the initiative by providing economic incentives to—and holding large ceremonies for—young couples who want to marry. The goal is to decrease the number of single women and prevent the radicalization of young men. At least 1,350 couples have been married and another 5,000 are on the waiting list.