Boko Haram
Nigerian troops capture top Boko Haram leader and kill 60 militants in rare show of strengthReuters file photo

Nigerian troops have captured a high-ranking Boko Haram militant leader and killed nearly 60 insurgents in a rare victory for the security forces against the Islamists.

The leader, whose name is still being withheld by the military, is undergoing treatment at a hospital for the injuries sustained during the fight.

"A seriously wounded high-ranking terrorist leader is being treated in a military medical facility after he was captured in operation," said the Nigerian military.

The encounter, which went on for several hours, took place in Kodunga, Borno State, which is one of the volatile regions in the grip of Boko Haram insurgency.

The exact death toll is being ascertained by the investigators.

"Right now, our troops are combing the vicinity of the battle scene in a cordon and search operation to determine the exact casualty figures suffered by the terrorists in the encounter," a security source was quoted as saying by Nigeria's Guardian newspaper.

Following the gunfight, the security personnel also seized arms and ammunition that had been stashed away by the Islamist group.

"Military hardware recovered from the insurgents include 13 AK 47 rifles, 5 Rocket Propelled Guns (RPGs) tubes, 2 General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs), 1 Anti-Aircraft Gun and 2 Ford Ranger pick-up vehicles. Nigerian Army troops did not suffer any casualty. Morale of troops remains very high," Brigadier General Olajide Laleye, director of the Nigerian army's public relations team, said in a statement.