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Angry Nigerian soldiers fire on senior officer

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Christians pray during a service to support the release of kidnapped girls in Nigeria, at a church in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, May 14, 2014. Boko Haram, the militant group that kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria, said the girls will only be freed after the government releases jailed militants. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Christians pray during a service to support the release of kidnapped girls in Nigeria, at a church in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, May 14, 2014. Boko Haram, the militant group that kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria, said the girls will only be freed after the government releases jailed militants. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, centre, addresses demonstrators who were calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped schoolgirls of the Chibok secondary school, in Abuja, Nigeria, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. A Nigerian government official said “all options are open” in efforts to rescue almost 300 abducted schoolgirls from their captors as US reconnaissance aircraft started flying over this West African country in a search effort. Boko Haram, the militant group that kidnapped the girls last month from a school in Borno state, had released a video yesterday purporting to show some of the girls. A civic leader said representatives of the missing girls’ families were set to view the video as a group later today to see if some of the girls can be identified. (AP Photo / Sunday Alamba)

Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, speaks to journalists during an interview in Abuja, Nigeria, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Shettima says 54 abducted girls have been identified by parents in a Boko Haram video released Monday. A Nigerian government official said “all options are open” in efforts to rescue almost 300 abducted schoolgirls from their captors as US reconnaissance aircraft started flying over this West African country in a search effort. Boko Haram, the militant group that kidnapped the girls last month from a school in Borno state, had released a video Monday purporting to show some of the girls. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Graphic shows the recent news on Boko Haram, the state of Nigeria and potential whereabouts of school girls kidnapped by the terror organization; 3c x 4 1/2 inches; 146 mm x 114 mm;

A vendor sell local newspapers on a street, with headlines stating we have identified 54 of the kidnapped school girls of a government secondary school Chibok, in a video released on Monday by Boko haram in Abuja, Nigeria, Wednesday, May 14, 2014. A Nigerian government official said “all options are open” in efforts to rescue almost 300 abducted schoolgirls from their captors as US reconnaissance aircraft started flying over this West African country in a search effort. Boko Haram, the militant group that kidnapped the girls last month from a school in Borno state, had released a video yesterday purporting to show some of the girls. A civic leader said representatives of the missing girls’ families were set to view the video as a group later today to see if some of the girls can be identified. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

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BAUCHI, Nigeria (AP) — Islamic militants again attacked the remote Nigerian town from which nearly 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped, Nigeria’s military said Wednesday, resulting in a firefight that killed 12 soldiers and led angry troops to fire on a commanding officer.

Soldiers said the troops fired at a senior officer who came to pay respects to the killed soldiers, whose bodies were brought to a barracks in Maiduguri. The capital of northeastern Borno state is about 130 kilometers north of the town of Chibok, where the girls were abducted a month ago.

The incident is a sign of demoralization in the military that is in charge of the search operation for the abducted schoolgirls. The failure of Nigeria’s government and military to find them after the April 15 mass abduction has brought mounting national and international outrage and forced Nigeria’s government to accept international help.

Nigeria’s Ministry of Defense played down the incident, saying soldiers “registered their anger about the incident by firing into the air. The situation has since been brought under control, as there is calm in the cantonment …”

But soldiers who were at the scene at Mailamari Barracks said infuriated troopers fired directly at the vehicle carrying Maj. Gen. Ahmadu Mohammed, the general officer commanding the army’s 7 Division. He was not hit.

The witnesses said the soldiers were angry because they wanted to spend the night in a village and told their command the road was dangerous after the attack just outside Chibok. They were ordered to travel instead and were ambushed, with at least 12 killed. The soldiers spoke on condition of anonymity because they want to keep their jobs.

The Ministry of Defense said in a statement that four soldiers who were on patrol around Chibok were killed. The military often exaggerates the number of enemy killed and downplays its own death toll.

Vigilante groups have been springing up in northern Nigeria over the past year amid accusations the military is not acting fast enough against the Islamic extremists.

In Kalabalge, a village about 250 kilometers (155 miles) from the Maiduguri, where the terrorist network was born, residents said they took matters into their own hands.

On Tuesday morning, after learning about an impending attack by the militants, villagers ambushed two trucks with gunmen, residents and a security official told The Associated Press. At least 10 militants were detained, and scores were killed, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to give interviews to journalists. It was not immediately clear where the detainees were being held.

Kalabalge trader Ajid Musa said that after residents organized the vigilante group, “it is impossible” for militants to successfully stage attacks there.

“That is why most attacks by the Boko Haram on our village continued (to) fail because they cannot come in here and

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