Niger, Chad attack Boko Haram after IS pledge of allegiance

Chadian soldiers patrol in the Nigerian border town of Gamboru after taking control of the city on February 4, 2015Niger and Chad on Sunday launched major ground and air strikes in northeast Nigeria against Boko Haram, after the militants formally pledged allegiance to the Islamic state group in Syria and Iraq. The attacks, which follow a sustained build-up of troops in southern Niger, opens up a new front in regional efforts to wipe out the Islamist group, whose six-year insurgency has spread across borders. “Very early this morning, troops from Niger and Chad began an offensive against Boko Haram… in the area of Bosso and near to Diffa,” a Niger government source in Niamey told AFP on condition of anonymity. Aircraft targeted Boko Haram positions on Saturday and early Sunday, it added, while a Diffa resident and aid worker said troops were seen heading to the border and heavy gunfire was heard.

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