Nigeria retakes Islamist strongholds
21 May 2013, 08:21
Abuja - Nigeria's military said on Monday it had re-established control in five remote areas of the northeast where Islamist insurgents had seized territory, as it pressed on with a sweeping offensive against Boko Haram militants.
The military has "secured the environs of New Marte, Hausari, Krenoa, Wulgo and Chikun Ngulalo after destroying all the terrorists' camps", a defence ministry statement said.
All of the areas in northern Borno state near the Cameroon border were considered Boko Haram strongholds.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who declared a state of emergency in Borno and two neighbouring states last week, said the insurgents had chased out local officials in some areas and removed the Nigerian flag.
Residents have previously told AFP that New Marte and Krenoa were among the areas targeted by military air strikes in the offensive launched last week.
"The troops are already interacting with locals and citizens assuring them of their safety and freedom from the activities of insurgents," the statement further said.