Nigeria claims to liberate more towns from Boko Haram

Nigeria claims to liberate more towns from Boko Haram
# 28 February 2015 19:23 (UTC +04:00)

The army said several members of the radical sect had been killed and a number of others captured.

Apart from the town of Bara in Yobe State and the town of Gulak in Adamawa State – the "liberation" of which was announced earlier Friday – several other towns had also been retaken, the army said.

"Other locations also cleared in the course of the two-day operation include Shikah, Fikayel, Tetebah, Buza, Kamla and Bumsa," defense spokesman Chris Olukolade said in a statement.

"The fierce fighting that preceded the clearing of the towns and other communities resulted in appreciable casualties among the terrorists," he added.

Bara is the regional capital of Yobe State's Gulani local government area, while Gulak is the regional capital of Adamawa State's Madagali local government area.

Both areas had long been held by Boko Haram militants who captured them in 2004.

Recent days have seen Nigerian troops turning the tide against the militants, who have resorted to striking soft targets in a spate of recent suicide attacks that claimed over 50 lives in the past week.

He said that some militants had been captured, some arms had been recovered and destroyed, and thousands of rounds of ammunition seized, along with vehicles, anti-aircraft guns, machine guns, grenades, bombs, grenade launchers, rifles and mortar guns.

The army also released a video showing an unannounced Thursday visit by President Goodluck Jonathan to the recently recaptured town of Mubi in Adamawa State and the town of Baga in northeastern Borno State.

Boko Haram has reportedly lost much of the territory it had earlier captured, as troops carry out air and land raids across the country's northeast.

Boko Haram has struck back by carrying out attacks on "soft targets" across the region.

On Thursday, at least 24 people were killed in separate attacks in the town of Jos in central Nigeria and the northeastern town of Biu.

Days earlier, similar attacks targeted bus stations in Potiskum and Kano, killing dozens of people and injuring several others.

Recent attacks on soft targets indicated Boko Haram's "desperation," the army said, going on to urge citizens and the operators of bus stations, mosques and churches to exercise caution.