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Army recaptures Chibok

17 November 2014, 07:09

Abuja - The army said on Sunday it had recaptured and "secured" the town of Chibok, where militants abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in April.

The army recaptured the town on Saturday evening from Boko Haram militants, spokesperson General Olajide Olaleye told AFP in a text message. "Mopping up ops ongoing. [The] town is now secured," he said.

Leading elder Pogu Bitrus told AFP the town was re-taken in a joint operation with local vigilantes known as the Civilian Joint Task Force, who back up the military in several parts of the northeast where Boko Haram is active.

He said the vigilantes fought inside the town while army soldiers "stayed outside the town to mop up the insurgents trying to escape".

Also Read: Three dead in Yola air crash

Boko Haram had captured the town on Thursday after a battle lasting several hours.

Several inhabitants said the army had fled the assault, leaving the vigilantes to fight on their own.

Control of Chibok is crucial to the reputation of the army and the government, which have come under harsh criticism for their failure to rescue the schoolgirls.

The militants stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok on the evening of 14 April and forced 276 students onto trucks in a mass abduction that caused global outrage.

Fifty-seven managed to escape.



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