The Multinational Joint Taskforce recaptured yet another town, Damasak, from Islamic militant sect Boko Haram, according to the BBC.
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After being overtaken by militants since December, Damasak, which is a trading town about 120 miles from Borno state capital Maiduguri near Niger’s border, was reportedly reclaimed by Chadian and Nigerien forces on Saturday.
The victory was dampened, though, by the discovery of at least 70 bodies located just outside of the town.
Chadian army Col. Azem Bermandoa Agouna said he saw “about 100 bodies spread under a bridge just outside the town.”
Many of the bodies are said to have had their throats slit or have been decapitated. They were also partially mummified due to the desert air, causing authorities to believe that the murders happened some time ago.
In a recent interview, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said that both he and his government underestimated the strength and capabilities of Boko Haram.
“We never expected that [Boko Haram] will build up that kind of capacity. We under-rated their external influence. Since after the civil war we’ve not fought any war, we don’t manufacture weapons, so we had to look for help to re-equip our army and the air force.”
With the succession of victories with the Multinational Taskforce, though, President Jonathan is optimistic that Boko Haram’s reign will be over shortly.
“They are getting weaker and weaker by the day. I’m very hopeful that it will not take us more than a month to recover the old territories.”
Since launching their offensive in March, forces have reclaimed at least 12 towns, including Michika, Gulak, Madagali, Buni Yadi, Baga, Ngala, Bama, Banki, Dikwa, Banki, and Goniri.
Since 2012, Boko Haram has killed nearly 16,000 people in northeastern Nigeria.