From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The regional military cooperation; Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) has recaptured the only Borno town previously held by Boko Haram.
Troops of the force yesterday cleared Dutse, a Boko Haram stronghold in the neighbouring Niger Republic and moved into the Nigerian border town of Damasak in northern Borno where the Nigerian forces had previously lost some soldiers.
Chief Military Public Information Officer of the MNJTF, Col Mohammad Dole in a statement said “troops of the force in continuation with clearance operation of towns and villages successfully cleared Dutse village in Niger, captured and occupied Damasak town.”
He said the troops backed by combined air support from MNJTF member States, fought their way into the town. He disclosed that the forces are currently coordinating to stabilise the immediate environment.
“The gallant troops fought their way into the town with close air support by combined Air Operation from MNJTF member States while Operation Lafiya Dole is conducting operation to link up with sector 4 at the location,” Dole said. The recspturing of Damasak from Boko Haram by the military through the MNJTF Operation Gama Aiki is seen by many in Borno as a great leap in the counter-insurgency operation in the northeast. Attempts by the military to clear Boko Haram from the area in the past have not been successful.