Niger, Chad launch joint offensive against Boko Haram
Iran Press TV
Sun Mar 8, 2015 3:12PM
Nigerien and Chadian military forces have launched a joint 'ground and air' offensive against the Takfiri terrorist group Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, a Niger government source says.
'An offensive is underway against Boko Haram.... Very early this morning, the troops from Niger and Chad began an offensive against Boko Haram... in the area of Bosso and near to Diram,' AFP quoted the unnamed source as saying on Sunday.
The military operation comes following African Union (AU)'s Friday decision to establish a regional force of up to 10,000 men to battle the Takfiri militant group which has pledged allegiance to the terrorist ISIL.
The force is to be based in Chad's capital, N'Djamena, said the pan-African bloc's Peace and Security Council. The idea for creating the force was adopted at an AU summit in January.
The mandate of the military force will be 'to prevent the spread of Boko Haram activities and other terrorist groups' and 'eradicate their presence,' according to an agreement reached in an AU meeting earlier in the week.
Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is forbidden," controls parts of northeastern Nigeria and says its goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government.
It has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly shooting attacks and bombings in various parts of Nigeria since the beginning of its activities in 2009, which have left over 13,000 people dead and 1.5 million displaced.
Boko Haram has also conducted military operations in Nigeria's neighboring countries Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.
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