As it continues a land and air attack in the Lake Chad region, a joint military force from Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon announced Sunday it had killed more than 100 Islamist terrorists in the past two weeks, including 10 commanders.
Boko Haram and its breakaway organization, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), have been fighting the Nigerian army for more than a decade in a struggle that has engulfed neighboring states.
Colonel Muhammad Dole, a spokesperson for the Multinational Joint Task Force, said troops had gone deep into insurgent-controlled enclaves in the Lake Chad area and collected multiple weapons, food, and illicit substances.
“Well over a hundred terrorists have been neutralized over the course of this operation, including over ten top leaders… following intelligence-driven fatal airstrikes in the Lake Chad islands by the combined air task forces,” Dole stated.
Dole did not say how long the operation lasted or how many soldiers were killed, but he did say that 18 soldiers were injured by improvised explosive devices dropped by retreating rebels.
The Islamist insurgency, which is centered in Nigeria’s northeast, has claimed thousands of lives and forced millions of people from their homes into IDP camps.
The United States approved a nearly $1 billion arms sale to Nigeria last week, giving the country a boost. The transaction had been placed on hold by US politicians because to worries about probable human rights violations.
Boko Haram has been on the defensive since its commander, Abubakar Shekau, was killed in a battle with rival ISWAP in May. Since last year, Nigeria claims that thousands of Boko Haram fighters and their families have surrendered.