ABUJA, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Fifty Boko Haram militants were killed following a joint operation by forces from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger, the Nigerian military said on Sunday.
Troops comprising air and land components of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) killed the terrorists in separate encounters around Lake Chad Basin since Friday, said Timothy Antigha, a Nigerian army officer who is also the chief spokesman for the multinational forces.
Antigha told reporters in Abuja that some equipment belonging to the terrorists was captured during the encounters, while others were destroyed.
He said the troops also destroyed one motorcycle and four gun trucks belonging to the Boko Haram group.
In addition, Antigha said, in the past 10 days, the MNJTF troops struck Boko Haram locations at Dorou in Niger, neutralizing many of them in the process.
The operation, he said, would be further intensified through raids, ambushes and fighting patrols to clear terrorists from their last stronghold in the Lake Chad Basin.
Last December, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and his colleagues of the Lake Chad Basin Commission renewed their commitment to ending the Boko Haram insurgency, declaring "a fight to finish."
Boko Haram has been trying since 2009 to establish an Islamist state in northeastern Nigeria, extending its attacks to countries in the Lake Chad basin.
The group posed enormous security, humanitarian and governance challenges in the basin, according to the United Nations.