The Nigerian army said yesterday that it had recaptured the north-eastern town of Chibok, where Boko Haram insurgents abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in April, provoking a wave of global outrage.
An elder of Chibok community, Pogu Bitrus however told AFP that Chibok was recaptured in a joint operation with local vigilantes known as the Civilian Joint Task Force. He said the vigilantes fought inside Chibok while the soldiers “stayed outside the town to mop up the insurgents trying to escape”.
Boko Haram fighters who were dislodged last week from Mubi in Adamawa by a combined team of local hunters and the troops fled to Chibok through Mararaba, Mubi and Uba and took over the town when residents on seeing the terrorists fled.
The terrorists had captured the town last Thursday after a battle lasting several hours that left many victims among both the insurgents and the local militias dead.
Several residents said the army had fled from the assault, leaving the vigilantes to fight on their own against Boko Haram.
There was no immediate information about any casualties from Saturday’s battle for the town, which witnesses say was virtually empty of residents.
A statement from Army Headquarters signed by Colonel Timothy Antigha, Chief of Staff, Department of Army Public Relations said, “The Nigerian Army troops recaptured Chibok at about 7pm last (Saturday) night from Boko Haram insurgents. The town is now secured. Exploitation and mop-up operations are ongoing. More details will follow as soon as they are available.” Agency report