Africa Nigeria army captures last stronghold of Boko Haram

Nigeria army captures last stronghold of Boko Haram

Boko Haram fighters at their headquarters in the northeastern Nigerian town of Gwoza, Maiduguri, Borno State
Boko Haram fighters at their headquarters in the northeastern Nigerian town of Gwoza, Maiduguri, Borno State

(AA) – Nigerian army troops on Friday liberated Gwoza, a town the Boko Haram militant group declared as the headquarters of their Islamic caliphate in northeastern Nigeria.

“Troops this morning captured Gwoza, destroying the headquarters of the terrorists’ self-styled caliphate,” the defense headquarters said on Twitter.

“Several terrorists died while many are captured. Mopping up of entire Gwoza and her suburbs is ongoing,” it added.

President Goodluck Jonathan predicted Wednesday that Gowza in the Borno State will be recaptured from the militants by Friday.

Friday’s announcement seals the recapturing of most of the towns hitherto held by militants.

The army announcement also comes on the eve Nigeria’s presidential and parliamentary elections on March 28.

Nigeria is fighting a six-year Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced over one million people from the northeastern region, where the militants have been the most ruthless.

Last year, Boko Haram went from attacking communities and planting bombs to capturing entire towns.

In mid-2014, the group declared a self-styled “Islamic caliphate” in areas seized in the northeastern Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

Almost all areas hitherto controlled by the militants have since been liberated by the army, however, in operations that have also involved troops from neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

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