A group of two Chadian helicopters bombed a Boko Haram outpost in northwest Nigeria on Sunday, killing dozens of militants, according to a military official from the Niger army. Chadian and Nigerien forces launched a joint operation, with Cameroon and Nigeria, on March 2 to rid the Borno state of Boko Haram insurgents who have been taking control of small villages and commandeering oil fields in the past few months. Boko Haram has maintained a six-year insurgency in the county.
The helicopters destroyed a convoy that was transporting the militants out of Djaboullam, a town located east of the border with Niger. A Niger army officer stated they received intelligence that a small group of insurgents had gathered at the town. According to the officer, the Boko Haram fighters were moved out of the surrounding towns by the Nigerian army. The officer explained more fighters are holding ground at Malam Fatori, waiting to fight back against the nation’s forces.
Thus far, the joint operation with Chadian soldiers has proved to be a success. They have driven Boko Haram out of previously held towns. Last week, Chad and Niger forces re-captured the town of Damasak.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by US Army Africa – Flickr License