200 Boko Haram Fighters, 9 Chadian Soldiers Killed In Clashes
Chadian forces have recorded a significant victory over Boko Haram by evicting the sect out of the border town of Gamboru yesterday, January 3, within hours of launching a ground offensive against the jihadist group.
"We have routed this group of terrorists," the commander of the Chadian contingent Ahmat Dari told AFP, vowing to continue the fight against the insurgents "until the end".
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The army confirmed the death of more than 200 Boko Haram Fighters in the clash, while eight Chadian soldiers were killed and around 20 injured.
The ground intervention by Chad came after the African Union last week backed a regional five-nation, 7,500-strong force to take on the extremists amid growing fears about their threat to regional security.
Chad's intervention reflects the growing nervousness among Nigeria's neighbours over the prospect of Boko Haram achieving its stated aim of carving out an Islamic caliphate on their borders.
Nigeria has drawn fierce criticism for failing to hold back the insurgents, who have stepped up their campaign of terror in country's northeast in the run-up to presidential and parliamentary elections on February 14.
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It would be recalled that after days of air strikes by Chadian war planes on Gamboru, Chadian forces crossed a bridge from the Cameroonian town of Fotokol to enter Gamboru.
The operation began with another barrage of air strikes lasting about an hour.
Chadian forces have also taken up position close to Boko Haram strongholds along Nigeria's border with Niger.
"A contingent of about 400 vehicles and tanks is stationed between Mamori and Bosso," Niger's private radio Anfani reported.
The massing of troops in Niger was seen as pointing the way to an imminent attack on Malam Fatori, a town held by the Islamists on the Nigerian side of a river that separates the two countries.
According to Daily Mail, France is supporting the operation by carrying out reconnaissance flights over border areas of Chad and Cameroon, both former French colonies