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West African forces battle Boko Haram in Niger
June 9, 2016, 10:23 am

Nigerian forces, backed by other West African military units, have seized territory from Boko Haram in the northeast of the country [Xinhua]

Nigerian forces, backed by other West African military units, have seized territory from Boko Haram in the northeast of the country [Xinhua]


The government of Chad has dispatched a 2,000-strong military force backed by armored vehicles and tanks into the town of Bosso in Niger, just across the border from Nigeria, to assist in the a campaign against Islamist Boko Haram terrorists.

Bosso has changed hands several times since Boko Haram militants stormed the town and killed 32 Niger troops and two Nigerian soldiers.

As has been their traditional modus operandi, Boko Haram militants burned homes, administrative offices and looted shops before scorching them.

Burning homes is a scorched earth policy employed by Boko Haram, an Islamist extremist group that wants to carve out of Nigeria a state based on Sharia (Islamic Law).

The UN says that Bosso, home to some 53,000 civilians, was emptied as tens of thousands packed up and fled the fighting.

The Chadian military says its military units will first rendezvous with forces from Niger before fighting to take back the town.

Earlier in the week, President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou said that his forces will avenge the death of their compatriots.

“That’s what we’ll do. We will organise ourselves accordingly in order to assure a final victory against this organisation.”

Boko Haram is based in the northeastern state of Borno in Nigeria. But in recent years it has carried out cross-border incursions in neighboring Cameroon, Mali, and Niger with deadly effect.

Boko Haram, which controls large swathes of northeastern Nigeria, has come under repeated attacks from the Nigerian, Chadian and Cameroonian armies in recent weeks.

Although African nations have launched a combined military effort, sanctioned by the African Union and supported in part by Washington, to destroy the militant group, and the extremist group has lost some territory, it has not lost its capability to launch suicide and car bomb attacks or kidnap women and children for leverage.

In related news, Cameroon’s military on Thursday announced that it had captured dozens of Boko Haram fighters who had infiltrated its territory.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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