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අන්තවාදී ඉස්‌ලාමීය සංවිධාන

Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria begins Sambisa ground

Nigerian troops pictured on 25 March 2015 near Bama

Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria begins Sambisa ground offensive

  • 2 hours ago
  • From the section Africa
Nigeria’s army, with the help of regional troops, has now recaptured most territory from Boko Haram

Nigerian ground troops have joined an offensive on the last known hideout of the Boko Haram Islamist militants, a military spokesman has told the BBC.

The vast north-eastern Sambisa forest is where they have many bases – and it has been subject to aerial bombardments since February.

There has been speculation that some of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped more than a year ago are being held there.

Boko Haram has killed thousands in northern Nigeria since 2009.

Nigeria’s military, backed by troops from neighbouring countries, launched an offensive against Boko Haram in February – and has recaptured most of the territory the militants had taken in the previous year.

For the latest news, views and analysis see the BBC Africa Live page.

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Some of the abducted schoolgirls, who escaped shortly after they were seized, have told the BBC they had been kept in militant camps in the Sambisa forest.

BBC Africa security correspondent Tomi Oladipo says the Nigerian military has been steadily reclaiming territory from the insurgents and sees the takeover of Sambisa as one of its biggest goals.

But our correspondent says the Sambisa forest, which incorporates a former game reserve, is far larger than any other territory that has been fought over so far.

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The aerial bombardments on Sambisa, which is mainly in north-eastern Borno state, have been slowed down by weather conditions and poor visibility, he says.

Military spokesman Major-General Chris Olukolade refused to give any further details about the offensive.

Boko Haram at a glance:

Wanted poster for Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in Maiduguri, Nigeria - May 2013

  • Founded in 2002, initially focused on opposing Western-style education
  • Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009 to create an Islamic state
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria
  • Has also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
  • Abducted hundreds, including at least 200 schoolgirls
  • Pledged allegiance to Islamic State

Turning the tide against Boko Haram?

Who are the militants?

Outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan has been widely criticised for not doing enough to end the conflict.

But his government has now vowed to crush the group before he hands over to President-elect Muhammadu Buhari at the end of May.

An estimated three million people have been forced from their homes since 2009, when Boko Haram launched its insurgency to create an Islamic state.

Hundreds have also been kidnapped by the group, including more than 200 girls taken from their boarding school in the Borno town of Chibok last April.

Some of them who escaped shortly after the abduction told the BBC they had been kept in militant camps there.

  • Is the tide turning against Boko Haram?
    21 March 2015
  • Can regional force defeat Boko Haram?
    3 March 2015
  • Is Islamic State shaping Boko Haram media?
    4 March 2015
  • Nigeria elections: Mapping a nation divided
    9 February 2015
  • Is the Nigerian army failing?
    4 February 2015
  • Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?
    21 January 2015
  • Why is Boko Haram so strong?
    26 January 2015
  • Boko Haram ‘raping our daughters’ in Baga
    23 January 2015
  • The soldiers without enough weapons to fight jihadists
    22 January 2015
  • Cameroon punished for taking on Boko Haram
    19 January 2015
  • Why reporting on Boko Haram is hard
    13 January 2015
  • Escape from Boko Haram
    27 October 2014
  • Will Nigerian schoolgirls ever be freed?
    14 October 2014
  • Boko Haram insurgency tearing Nigerian families apart
    3 October 2014
  • Living in fear of Boko Haram
    27 June 2014
  • Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria’s female bombers strike
    6 August 2014
  • Profile: Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau
    9 May 2014

Life in the north

  • Nigeria truckers run Boko Haram risk
    9 March 2015
  • How Nigeria schools fight Boko Haram
    2 June 2014
  • Niger hit by Nigeria’s Boko Haram fallout
    22 April 2014
  • Risking my life to find Boko Haram
    31 March 2014
  • Women tell of Boko Haram escape
    24 March 2014
  • Video Boko Haram escapees in the US
    25 December 2014
  • Video In 60 secs: Who are Boko Haram?
    6 May 2014
  • Video Nigeria’s challenges – in 60 seconds
    14 May 2014

Background

  • Key facts, figures and dates
    19 April 2011
  • Nigeria: A nation divided
    11 January 2012

 

Elsewhere on the BBC

About ජාතික බෞද්ධ බලවේගය

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