Chad troops take back Nigerian town from Boko Haram

Soldiers from the Chadian Army crossed into Nigeria Wednesday and re-took Malam Fatori town from Boko Haram militants.Photo: Reuters/Goran Tomasevic

Soldiers from Chad have driven out elements of African extremist group Boko Haram from a town in the northeastern region of Nigeria.

According to the BBC, elements of the Chadian Army successfully retook Malam Fatori town on Thursday after 48 hours of fighting. The BBC reported that aerial forces were also involved in the offensive that resulted to the defeat of the Boko Haram soldiers in the area.

Officials from the Niger confirmed the action.

"This morning the Chadians retook Malam Fatori. There were clashes with Boko Haram that lasted over 24 hours," a Niger army officer in the adjacent region of Diffa told Yahoo! News.

"There were combat aircraft but we don't know their nationality," the Army officer added.

According to Yahoo! News, the Twitter account managed by Nigeria's defence headquarters said that Nigeria's Air Force was involved in the offensive in Malam Fatori against the Boko Haram. However, the tweet did not mention the involvement of the Chadian Army in the operation.

However, the tweet did acknowledge that an operation by Chad or any other countries in the Lake Chad Basin in Malam Fatori would be within the scope of the nations' agreement.

"(Malam Fatori) is within the area of operation covered by the Multinational Joint Task Force of which Chad has always been a part," the defence headquarters' official Twitter account tweeted.

The increasing aggressiveness of Boko Haram has prompted the four Lake Chad Basin countries and Benin to cooperate in combating the extremist group. However, a pan-country force has failed to materialise so far as the parties have not yet agreed to an official deployment plan.

The Lake Chad Basin countries consist of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. Benin, on the other hand, is located west of Nigeria.

The military heavyweight in the region, Chad, had recently sent troops to the border with Cameroon to assist the country in defending against the extremist group, as Boko Haram expands its operations to Cameroon in preparation for the February 14 elections in Nigeria.