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Cameroon kills Boko Haram fighters, US pledges advisors
February 27, 2016, 7:48 am

Nigerian soldiers inspect a Boko Haram camp in northeastern Borno state after it was seized amid heavy fighting. The Nigerian president has vowed to destroy Boko Haram this year [Xinhua]

Nigerian soldiers inspect a Boko Haram camp in northeastern Borno state after it was seized amid heavy fighting. The Nigerian president has vowed to destroy Boko Haram this year [Xinhua]


Cameroonian and Nigerian forces working together say they have killed 92 Boko Haram fighters in an operation launched along their border this weekend.

The Cameroonian military, which has for two years been fighting the Islamist terrorist group’s incursions into its territory, says that it lost two soldiers in the fighting.

A military communique from Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, indicated that hundreds of captives seized by Boko Haram in raids on villages in Nigeria’s northeast were also rescued.

The joint military operation comes as The New York Times cites unnamed Pentagon officials who said that the US is ready to dispatch an undisclosed number of “Special Operations” advisors to assist the Nigerian military against Boko Haram.

The report said that the advisors would take on noncombat roles.

In October, US President Barack Obama said that he would boost the number of American military personnel in Nigeria and Cameroon from 90 to 300. The US troops would provide training and logistical support to both the Nigerian and Cameroonian armies.

The US military will also dispatch predator drones to assist Nigeria and Cameroon with “intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance”.

It is unclear whether the Pentagon plan is part of Obama’s initial military boost.

African contingent

Large swathes of the northeastern province of Borno state – where Boko Haram has been based – have exchanged hands repeatedly over the course of the past year but Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to end the extremist group’s threat by the beginning of 2016.

Boko Haram declared allegiance to ISIL last year. But in recent years it has carried out cross-border incursions in neighboring Cameroon, Mali, and Niger with deadly effect.

But over the past two years, it has come under repeated attacks from the Nigerian, Chadian and Cameroonian armies in recent weeks.

In early December, the Cameroonian defense ministry announced that its forces had killed at least 100 Boko Haram fighters and rescued over 900 hostages abducted by the extremist group.

African nations have launched a combined military effort, sanctioned by the African Union and supported in part by Washington, to destroy the militant group, but Boko Haram still retains significant offensive capabilities to strike at towns in Borno.

Although it has suffered a number of battlefield losses in the past year, Boko Haram has managed to carry out a series of retaliatory suicide bombings targeting markets and mosques.

The Boko Haram leadership, which wants to impose Islamic Law in the areas it controls, last year announced it had declared allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS).

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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