Nigerian, Cameroon troops oust Boko Haram from town, village

AP News
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Posted: Mar 16, 2015 7:52 PM

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian troops have ousted Boko Haram from a northeastern town while Cameroon soldiers killed several of the extremists in an attack on a Nigerian village, military officials reported Monday of the latest successes in a multinational bid to curb the Islamic uprising in northeast Nigeria.

"FLASH: Nigerian troops have this afternoon routed terrorists from Bama ... Mopping up operation is ongoing," the Nigerian Defense Headquarters announced on Twitter referring to a town held by the insurgents for more than six months.

An earlier tweet Monday said they had "completed clearing terrorists out of Goniri" in neighboring Yobe state.

By last week, the regional offensive that began at the end of January had liberated 36 towns, Mike Omeri, the Nigerian government spokesman on the insurgency, said Wednesday.

Cameroon Col. Jacob Kodji said forces from his country attacked Boko Haram militants from Borno state's Ndaba village on Thursday and Friday, killing several of the extremists and destroying some of their vehicles and ammunition.

The Cameroonians acted after Ndaba residents reported that Boko Haram militants were massing in the hills around the village, 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the border with Cameroon, Kodji said.

The militants were believed to have been fleeing from Nigerian air raids on Bama, he said.

Boko Haram seized Bama in September and in December published a video showing gunmen mowing down civilians lying face down in what looks like a school dorm there. A leader says they are being killed because they are "infidels" or non-believers.

There are so many corpses in the video that the gunmen have difficulty stepping to reach bodies still twitching with life.

Boko Haram this month joined the Islamic State group in the Middle East, which last week urged fighters to go to its "West Africa Province." This has increased fears about the internationalization of a conflict that for nearly six years has been largely limited to northeast Nigeria.

Some 10,000 people were killed in Nigeria' Islamic uprising last year, according to the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations.

Boko Haram was little known outside the region until its abduction last April of more than 200 schoolgirls who remain missing.

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Associated Press writer Edwin Kindzeka Moki contributed to this report from Yaounde, Cameroon.