Nigeria forces claim recapture of garrison town
Nigeria’s military has alleged the recapture of a northeastern garrison town, which was seized by militants of the Takfiri terrorist group Boko Haram last month.
“Troops in a military operation spearheaded by highly coordinated air assaults have completed the mission of clearing terrorists from Monguno and environs this morning,” Major General Chris Olukolade, Nigeria’s Defense Ministry spokesman, said on Monday.
The militants reportedly suffered casualties and the military operation disrupted an attempt to resupply Boko Haram members in the flashpoint town of Baga with weapons and food.
Boko Haram captured Monguno, located about 137 kilometers (85 miles) from Borno state’s capital, Maiduguri, on January 25 after fierce clashes with the Nigerian army.
The takeover triggered fears that they might use Monguno to wage offensive against Maiduguri. The militants stormed Maiduguri on February 1 before being repelled.
The violence fueled by Boko Haram militants has killed at least 13,000 people and rendered more than a million others homeless since 2009.
Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Benin have pledged to create an 8,700-strong force to fight the Boko Haram militancy.
According to Nigerian defense officials, a new cooperation with neighboring military forces has put the militants on the defensive, with several towns under Boko Haram’s control retaken.
Nigeria’s National Security Advisor Sambo Dasuki said on February 9 that an ongoing multilateral offensive against Boko Haram will root out the Takfiri group within six weeks.
The official said, “All known Boko Haram camps will be taken out. They won’t be there. They will be dismantled.”