Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Nigeria gun battle was joint assault with Chad, Niger (Reuters)

The bloody gun battle against Islamist insurgents in Nigeria last week involved forces from neighboring Chad and Niger, officials said on Tuesday, as West African countries increasingly view jihadist groups as a cross-border threat.
A joint force of more than 100 was assembled after an intelligence report said militants from the Boko Haram militant group had moved into Baga, a fishing town in northeast Nigeria on the shores of Lake Chad, two Nigerian military sources, a senior officer from Niger and a Chadian military official said. The operation - possibly one of the deadliest since Boko Haram launched its insurgency in 2009 - highlights the shared concerns of West African nations that growing links between jihadist groups in the Sahara desert are a threat to their national security. Neighboring countries were alarmed last year when Islamists took over vast parts of Mali before French forces pushed them out.
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