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Nigeria army chief says Baga retaken from extremists

Boko Haram militants had killed hundreds of people in Baga in a January attack after Nigerian troops fled.

By: Associated Press | Maiduguri,nigeria |
February 26, 2015 6:58:25 pm
Boko Haram, Cameroon soldiers, Islamic extremists, Nigeria In this photo taken on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, Cameroon soldiers stand guard at a lookout post as they take part in operations against the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram near the village of Mabass, Cameroon. (Source: AP)

Nigeria’s army chief said that Baga town in the country’s northeast has been retaken by the military from Islamic extremists, and that displaced residents should be able to return to vote in late March elections.

Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minima spoke to journalists on Wednesday after he said he visited the town on Lake Chad near the border with Cameroon to build troop confidence.

“They have made Nigerians proud,” he told journalists in Maiduguri after the visit on which only a government TV crew was embedded.

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Boko Haram militants had killed hundreds of people in Baga in a January attack after Nigerian troops fled. The military on Feb. 21 reported that it had retaken the town from extremists, one of dozens of gains reported by military from Nigeria and Chad in recent weeks.
Boko Haram had days earlier denied the military had retaken the town.

Minima said that Nigeria’s army would take back more towns from the Islamic extremists.

“From today it is never again for insurgents to take hold of any of our territory. I told them that today it is going to be victory all the way because the war is almost ended. From here we move to retake Gwoza, Marte and Madagali,” he said.

He said he was confident that it was “achievable to end the Boko Haram activities very soon,” and that residents who have been displaced should be able to return to their homes for March 28 presidential elections.

Boko Haram, which denounces democracy as a corrupt Western concept, has warned it will disrupt the elections with attacks.

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