updated 12/3/2010 3:55:29 AM ET 2010-12-03T08:55:29

A military raid involving heavily armed soldiers and aerial bombing runs has killed as many as 150 people in Nigeria's oil-rich southern delta, according to a human rights activist.

Oghebejabor Ikim, national coordinator for the Forum of Justice and Human Rights Defense, told The Associated Press Friday that houses have been destroyed, civilians killed and women raped in the operation that began Wednesday.

Ikim said the fighting was focused on the village of Ayakoromo in Delta state, where the soldiers were trying to find a militant leader called John Togo.

Ikim claimed no militants were in Ayakoromo or surrounding villages.

"I can describe it as a killing spree of innocent civilians," he said.

A military spokesman said the operation was ongoing, but declined further comment.

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