Nigerian forces retake border town of Baga from Boko Haram

February 22, 2015 00:43

BAUCHI, Nigeria/NIAMEY, Niger - Nigerian forces backed by air strikes seized the northeastern border town of Baga from Islamist group Boko Haram on Saturday, the military said, a significant victory in an offensive against an insurgency affecting four African states.

Retaking the town - at Nigeria's border with Chad, Niger and Cameroon - was one of several in the past two weeks, and particularly important as Baga was the headquarters of a multinational force of troops from all four countries.

The militants had claimed a Jan. 3 attack that killed scores, possibly hundreds, and left the jihadists in control.

"We have secured Baga. We are now in full control. There are only mopping up exercises left to do," Defence Spokesman Major-General Chris Olukolade said by telephone.

In a statement minutes earlier Olukolade had said that "a large number of terrorists had drowned in Lake Chad" as troops advanced on Baga.

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