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Nigerian army battles Boko Haram militants to retake town in northeast

The militants claim they had attacked an army convoy in the area on Monday and killed 40 troops. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Lagos, Nigeria Sep 21, 2016, 11.02 PM (IST)
Nigerian troops on Wednesday claimed they had recaptured a town on the shores of Lake Chad from Boko Haram militants. 

The regional troops have been fighting the militant group over control of Mallam Fatori. 

Army spokesman Sani Usman said a fierce battle ensued backed by air support that resulted in the deaths of several Boko Haram militants. 

He said its troops and counterparts from the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) had captured the town. 

The MNJTF is made up of soldiers from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin.

But the terrorists moved in with reinforcements around the border with Niger while the troops were consolidating on the success. 

The militant group claimed to have inflicted heavy casualties. 

"This offensive led to the death of more than 40 soldiers and left tens of others injured," it said in a statement posted on social media.

The town of Mallam Fatori in the Borno state was liberated in March last year as part of a regional counter-offensive against the militants. 

There have been an increasing number of attacks in southeast Niger in recent weeks, an indication the rebels have regrouped and switched focus.

(WION with inputs from agencies)
 
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