Nigerian forces repel Boko Haram attack near Niger border

April 19, 2016 00:40

The Nigerian army, backed by the country's air force, on Monday repelled an attack an attack by Boko Haram fighters near the border with Niger in the jihadists' northeast heartland, the military said.

The group allied to Islamic State had been fighting for at least seven years to carve out an Islamist caliphate in the region in a conflict which has displaced more than 2 million people and killed thousands.

The militants struck as the troops were on their way to the border town of Damasak where they wanted to set up a permanent base, a military source said. The army took the area back from Boko Haram last year, but has struggled to hold it.

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