Hundreds of bodies found in town held by Boko Haram 

A girl stands in front of soldiers from Niger and Chad in the recently retaken town of Damasak, Nigeria, March 20, 2015. Soldiers from Niger and Chad discovered the bodies of at least 70 people in March 2015.(Photo: Reuters)

Hundreds of bodies were found in Damasak, Nigeria last weekend after government officials reclaimed the town from the militant Muslim group Boko Haram. 

Witnesses said women, children, and some men were found dead in the streets, although the men may be Boko Haram fighters killed in the violent clash, Fox News reports. 

Damasak fell to Boko Haram in November, but was reclaimed by Nigerien and Chadian soldiers in March. The countries, along with Cameroon, are part of a coalition fighting to break Boko Haram's grip on the region. The coalition has been successful in driving the group from most towns in northeastern Nigeria. 

Over 70 bodies were initially found near a bridge outside of Damasak, near the Niger border, and some of the corpses were beheaded, skeletal and partially mummified.

A committee sent to the town last weekend found hundreds more dead, according to local government spokesman Babagana Mustapha. He added that in the bush surrounding Damasak there are hundreds of other bodies. 

The Sunni Muslim extremists have led a reign of terror across Nigeria with increasing brutality over the past five years. Kidnappings, suicide bombings, and mass executions have left thousands dead and millions displaced.

BBC reported that civilians in neighbouring countries have not joined up with the Nigerian-based terrorists, stifling the group's goal of creating a caliphate. The militants have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State that has gained control of swathes of Syria and Iraq, and have adopted many of the symbols and methods of the Middle Eastern terrorist group. 

Boko Haram became internationally known after kidnapping over 270 children from an all-girls school in Chibok, Nigeria on April 14, 2014. A second mass kidnapping occurred less than a month later in Warabe. Over 200 girls remain missing.