Warplanes and ground troops from Chad bombed Boko Haram fighters out of a town on the Nigerian border, according to reports. The militants had seized the town about three months back and the latest offensive follows Chad’s decision to send hundreds of troops to the border to fight off the insurgents.
Fighter jets from Chad fired on the town of Malumfatori and the Nigerian border forcing the group's fighters to flee, according to The Associated Press (AP), which cited Abari Modu, a displaced resident. Modu added that forces from Chad had reclaimed his hometown from Boko Haram on Thursday. The takeover was also confirmed by a Nigerian soldier, AP reported.
Chad had previously sent troops to Cameroon to help counter the violence unleashed in the region by Boko Haram, a group which has led an Islamist-led insurgency in Nigeria's north since 2009. Of late, the group has claimed it wants to create an Islamic caliphate in the region as it tries to model itself along the lines of the Islamic State group's ideology.
Earlier this month, Chadian Prime Minister Kalzeubet Pahimi Deubet had led a march in Chad’s capital to support the parliament’s decision to tackle Boko Haram on the Cameroon border, and said: “Today’s march is a strong signal, a warning to Boko Haram and above all a march for peace to protect our vital interests, to protect our economy, to protect Chad's security.”
The Islamist insurgency in Nigeria has killed more than 11,000 people between 2009 and 2014, according to the Nigeria Social Violence Project.