Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says government troops have inflicted a heavy defeat on the Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group by capturing the group’s last stronghold in the country’s northeast.
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“I was told by the Chief of Army Staff that the camp fell at about 1:35 p.m. [local time] on Friday, December 23, and that the terrorists are on the run, and no longer have a place to hide,” Buhari said in a statement on Saturday, calling on the army to “maintain the tempo by pursuing them and bringing them to justice.”
Buhari added that the army troops managed to crush the remnants of Boko Haram at “Camp Zero”, located deep inside the thick Sambisa Forest in the volatile Borno State, without mentioning the whereabouts of the group’s ring leader Abubakar Shekau.
According to the Nigerian president, Friday’s victory marked the “final crushing” of the Takfiri group.
The triumph was achieved after the army gradually tightened the noose around terrorists in the forest through a months-long counter-terrorism military campaign that was intensified in the last few weeks, covering some 13,00 square kilometers of the forest in an attempt to curb the group’s atrocities against civilians and clear the area from its presence.
Boko Haram terrorists started their reign of terror in 2009 with the aim of toppling the Nigerian government.
In their heyday in early 2015, they managed to control an area in the country’s northeast as vast as Belgium, but they lost most of that territory over the last year as the Nigerian government, along with troops from some affected neighboring countries such as Chad and Cameroon, launched a joint military campaign to eradicate the militant group, Press TV reported.