At least 150 civilians have been killed in fighting between the Nigerian military and armed militants in the oil-producing Niger Delta.
The incident took place as Nigerian warplanes bombed a village near a militant camp and soldiers opened fire with machine guns, the Associated Press quoted human rights activists and witnesses as saying on Friday. Dozens of villagers took refuge in a nearby city after a military taskforce -- comprising the army, navy and air force -- began raiding three camps believed to belong to a militant leader in Delta state on Thursday.
While, the country's armed forces deny targeting civilian communities in raids on militant camps lying deep in the creeks, activists and witnesses assert that civilians get killed in the attacks. The attacks on a village in the Niger Delta continued on Friday as the military tried to kill or capture John Togo, the most wanted militant leader of the Niger Delta Liberation Force, who runs the attacked camps. A campaign of pipeline bombings and high-profile kidnappings has been ongoing in the region since 2006.