Boko Haram Regional troops recapture town from terror group

Insurgents there killed some 200 people and kidnapped more than 400 children with the violence forcing around 14,000 to flee across the border to Diffa in Niger.

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Regional troops recapture Nigeria town from Boko Haram play

Nigerian troops are pictured in 2015 crossing a reconstructed bridge, previously destroyed by militants, in the northeastern town of Damasak 

(AFP/File Nigerian Army Press Service)
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Nigerian troops backed by a regional force have recaptured the northeastern town of Damasak where Boko Haram killed more than 200 and abducted hundreds of children two years ago, the army said Friday.

"MNJTF (Multinational Joint Task Force) troops... have successfully... occupied Damasak," the army said in a statement, indicating it was part of an operation to clear militants out of towns and villages.

The Chad-based MNJTF comprises troops from Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Benin as part of regional efforts to end the seven-year Boko Haram violence in the Lake Chad region.

Damasak, a fishing and irrigation hub which lies close to the border with Niger, some 180 kilometres (120 miles) north of Borno state capital Maiduguri, was seized by Boko Haram in November 2014.

Insurgents there killed some 200 people and kidnapped more than 400 children with the violence forcing around 14,000 to flee across the border to Diffa in Niger.

It was temporarily seized from Boko Haram control by Nigerian and Chadian troops in March last year but fell back into the Islamists' hands after the soldiers withdrew a month later.

In April, Boko Haram fighters attacked Nigerian troops with suicide bombers and mortar fire at a military checkpoint in Kareto village, 38 kilometres from Damasak.

Although the soldiers managed to repel the assault, more than 20 of them were wounded. 

Boko Haram which seeks to establish a hardline Islamist state in northern Nigeria has killed some 20,000 and displaced over 2.6 million since 2009.

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