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Nigerian Army, Local Vigilantes Retake Boko Haram Towns

Sputnik News

18:54 14.11.2014(updated 19:13 14.11.2014)

Government forces with the help of local vigilantes have engaged with Boko Haram in the northeast of Nigeria, forcing the Islamic terrorist group to flee the towns of Mubi and Maiha.

MOSCOW, November 14 (Sputnik) — The Nigerian army and local forces have retaken control of towns in the northeast of the country which had been under Boko Haram rule, Reuters reports.

"The insurgents have been flushed out of Mubi and are on the run,' Adamawa State Governor Bala Ngilari told Reuters.
According to the news agency, an alliance of the Nigerian military, local hunters and vigilante groups called the Civilian Joint Task Force have joined forces to drive out the militants, who took control of the town on October 28.

One local resident told the BBC that he had seen the local leader of Boko Haram in handcuffs after capture, although this has not been confirmed by authorities.

Reports suggest civilian groups have played the biggest part in the recapture of Islamic-held areas. One Mubi resident told Nigeria's Premium Times that a vigilante group called Yan Tauri had "carried out a raid and killed many Boko Haram members."

Chibado Bobi, chief of staff in Adamawa state governor's office in Mubi told AFP, 'It is true Mubi has fallen back into the hands of Nigerian soldiers with the help of local vigilantes and hunters.' The report quotes a Mubi resident who said, 'I saw the Boko Haram fighters fleeing in droves in their vehicles when the hunters and vigilantes entered the town.'

According to SaharaReporters, a battalion of soldiers fled the town after a Boko Haram attack on October 29, leaving Mubi to the terrorists. Reuters reports that people in the area have felt "abandoned" by the state, leading some to take up arms to defend themselves.

Mubi is a commercial hub and the second largest town in the Adamawa region. A second town 25 km away, Maiha, has also been the subject of fighting in the past week between Boko Haram and local armed forces.

Nigerian news portal reported residents saying Tuesday that the terrorists had "full control" of the town, but that only two days later local hunters "outraged by Monday's attack" launched a fightback. "We fought gallantly, killed 80 members of the insurgents and recaptured Maiha Local Government headquarters," one local told the portal.

The Islamic militants still control several towns and villages in the north-east of Nigeria. AFP reported Thursday that having been driven from Mubi, the Islamists have invaded the towns of Hong and Gombi, 100 km from the state capital, Yola.


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