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Nigeria’s Military: Boko Haram Near Extinction

FILE - Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau speaking to the camera.
FILE - Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau speaking to the camera.

Nigeria’s military said its forces Tuesday retook from Boko Haram the economic and strategic town of Gamboru Ngala on the border with Cameroon.

Nigerian Army Spokesman Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman told VOA Tuesday the operation involved the air force and army. “They gave us fire power support, aerial bombardment and the ground troops entered,” he said.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, who was inaugurated in May this year, recently gave the military three months to neutralize the Islamist insurgent group.

Usman said the recapture of Gamboru Ngala is proof the military will be able to meet the president’s deadline, in coordination with neighbors Cameroon, Chad, Benin and Niger, which form the joint military force.

“It is a fact of life. Today, the Nigerian army was able to capture the strategic town of Gamboru Ngala in the northeastern part of the country. It is so important to both the Nigerian people and of course the insurgents themselves,” Usman said. “There’s a renewed cooperation, a collective responsibility not just among the Nigerian people and the Nigerian military but the neighboring countries as well under the auspices of the new Multinational Joint Task Force,” he added.

Usman said Gamboru Ngala forms economic links between Nigeria and neighboring countries such as Cameroon, Niger, Chad, and Central African Republic.

There was no independent confirmation of the military’s claims. Usman said the military has seriously degraded Boko Haram’s ability to wage war.

“This singular act of recapturing Gamboru Ngala has further demonstrated that Boko Haram is about to become extinct,” he said.