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Nigerian Army Recaptures Chibok, the Site Where Girls Were Abducted in April

The Nigerian army says it has recaptured the north-eastern town of Chibok, which was seized by Boko Haram militants on Thursday.

Boko Haram fighters kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from the village in April, sparking global outrage.

The group, which says it is fighting to create an Islamic state in Nigeria, has repeatedly targeted villages in Borno state in recent months.

There are reports of many Boko Haram members being killed in Sunday’s raid.

Correspondents say Chibok was retaken late on Saturday, after dozens of military vehicles were seen heading to the village.

A local vigilante force was part of the operation.

This was a joint operation by Nigerian soldiers with a large number of members of a local vigilante force. The success of the mission offers some hope of further success against the insurgents who have been seizing towns and villages in north-east Nigeria, often with little resistance.

The vigilantes would have been desperate to flush the jihadists out of the town and may have felt they had very little to lose by taking them on. A decision was clearly made to retake Chibok as fast as possible. It is geographically no more significant than other towns and villages still in the hands of the jihadists but its name resonates around the world due to the tragedy of the 219 abducted school girls and so it was important for the government and military to win this battle.

Larger towns like Gwoza have been held by Boko Haram since August and it is surprising that there has not been more urgency to dislodge them from there. There has been a depressing diet of news from the north-east but the recapture of Chibok is a rare piece of good news from an area in crisis.


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