Nigerian fighter jets have bombed the northeast town of Malam
controlled by Boko Haram Islamists, the military said Thursday.
and some media reports said troops and airforce planes from
neighbouring Chad were involved in the operation on Nigerian soil but
Abuja neither confirmed nor denied the claim.
There was no initial word on casualties or whether Boko Haram fighters had fled the area.
Fatori is within the area of operation covered by the Multinational
Joint Task Force (MNJTF) of which Chad has always been a part,” defence
spokesman Chris Olukolade told AFP in a text message.
Nigerian airforce has also been conducting (an) air mission there for
two days now,” he added. “It is all part of the ongoing efforts against
The MNJTF was set up more than a decade ago to combat
smuggling in the remote region but as the Nigerian Islamist insurgency
in the area intensified, the mandate of the force changed.
in the town of Bosso, which lies next to Malam Fatori but across the
border in Niger, said the bombardment began early on Wednesday and
lasted for several hours.
“At around 8:00 am (0700 GMT) we started
seeing three military jets encircling Malam Fatori and soon after
(they) began dropping bombs,” said Idrissa Ari, a Bosso resident.
locals inside Malam Fatori is difficult given the collapse of the
mobile phone network on the Nigerian side of the border.
The authorities in N’Djamena did not respond to requests seeking comment on their alleged involvement in the operation.
Boko Haram uprising has become a regional crisis, with the four
directly affected countries — Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria —
agreeing to boost cooperation to contain the threat.
Union’s annual summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is this week
expected to focus heavily on the threat from Boko Haram.
AU chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has called the insurgency “a threat to the whole continent”.
– Chadian troops in Cameroon –
brutal attack this month on the Nigerian town of Baga, near Chad and
Niger, killed several hundred people and raised fresh questions about
the Nigerian military’s capacity to face Boko Haram alone.
aerial bombardment inside Nigeria by the Chadian airforce, if confirmed,
would mark a major development in bilateral security cooperation.
it was unclear whether Chadian troops had begun operating in Nigeria,
security sources said soldiers from Chad had arrived in Cameroon ahead
of an expected campaign against the Islamists.
“The first Chadian
soldiers were deployed yesterday (Wednesday) in Fotokol,” a Cameroonian
security source told AFP, requesting anonymity.
Fotokol is just 500 meters (0.3 miles) from the Nigerian town of Gamboru, currently controlled by Boko Haram.
senior Cameroonian officer said the deployment was part of “preliminary
action” for the Chadian army to take on Boko Haram alongside troops
The insurgents control large parts of Nigeria’s Borno state, which shares borders with Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
local sources in three areas of Cameroon’s far north reported that 10
people had their throats slit by suspected Boko Haram militants this