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Nigeria: Town Retaken From Boko Haram

Nigerian forces on Monday described successful operations to clear terrorists from Monguno, Baga, Damaturu and Gombe, Feb., 16, 2015.

The Nigerian army said a town in Borno state seized by Boko Haram insurgents last month has been recaptured.

The army said on its Twitter feed Monday that "military operations to clear terrorists from Monguno and other communities [were] successful."

It said the operation involved airstrikes, and led to the capture of a number of insurgents as well as truckloads of food and supplies meant for Boko Haram fighters in the town of Baga.

The army did not say if the operation involved troops from Niger, Cameroon or Chad, the three countries currently helping Nigeria fight the Islamist extremist group. Boko Haram has launched attacks in all three countries over the past two weeks.

The Nigerian army said, "The air and land operation is continuing with aggressive advance toward other designated communities and locations meant to be cleared."

Monguno, a town of about 100,000, was seized by Boko Haram on January 25. Rights group Amnesty International criticized the Nigerian army afterward, saying it had failed to protect the town despite receiving advance warning of any insurgent attack.

Meanwhile, the French news agency AFP reports that the death toll has risen to 13 from a suicide bombing Sunday in the city of Damaturu in Yobe state. Witnesses said a woman blew herself at a crowded bus station. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion fell on Boko Haram, which has frequently attacked bus stations in the past.

On Saturday, militants in the city of Gombe circulated a letter warning residents not to come out for the upcoming general elections.

The polls were originally scheduled for February 14, but electoral officials postponed them six weeks, saying Boko Haram posed too big a security threat.

The presidential and parliamentary polls are now set for March 28, and officials have said they will not be postponed again.