Posted by News Express | 11 April 2015 | 3,647 times
Seventy-one Chadian soldiers have been killed and 416 wounded in less than three months of fighting in the regional campaign to crush the Boko Haram insurgency, Chad’s army said Friday.
Chad has sent about 5,000 troops to fight alongside soldiers from Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon against the Islamist radicals whose Nigeria-based insurgency has increasingly spilled over into neighbouring nations.
The regional fightback, concentrated in border areas south of Lake Chad and in North-East Nigeria, seems to have stopped the insurgents’ advance.
Chad Army Chief, General Brahim Seid, told reporters in his country’s capital N’Djamena the “valiant soldiers” had died since February 3 in the “just and noble cause of bringing peace and security” to the region.
“They (troops) have liberated 11 communities in Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria from the hands of Boko Haram,” said Seid. “Chadian forces will continue to hunt the terrorists of Boko Haram wherever they are found.”
Nigeria’s military – with major backing from its neighbours – has claimed huge victories over Boko Haram in the North-East, retaking a series of towns and villages previously under rebel control over the last two months.
The insurgency has killed some 13,000 people and sent 1.5 million fleeing their homes.
The UN on Thursday launched an appeal for $174 million (164 million euros) to give “life-saving aid” to the almost 200,000 Nigerians who have fled the country due to the group’s brutal attacks.
After months of the aggressive campaign, regional military leaders believe Boko Haram’s military capacity has been significantly weakened.
•Adapted from an AFP report. Photo shows Boko Haram insurgents.
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