Chad, Niger troops attack Boko Haram in Nigeria
Soldiers from Chad and Niger launched the largest international push to defeat Nigeria’s Islamic extremists whose war has spilled over into neighboring countries, officials and witnesses said Monday. Chad’s president has warned that the leader of Boko Haram must surrender or be killed.
At least 200 vehicles full of soldiers were spotted by residents crossing from Niger into Nigeria. Loud detonations soon were heard, signaling heavy combat with Boko Haram, said Adam Boukarna, a resident of the border town of Bosso, Niger.
The push marks a sharp escalation by African nations against Boko Haram nearly six years after the group began its insurrection. At an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Jan. 31, African leaders agreed to send 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram. Later, neighboring countries agreed to increase the force to 8,750. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he supports the AU’s move.