A multinational force with troops from Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad on Tuesday said it had killed over 800 jihadists in about two months in the volatile Lake Chad region.
The four West African nations and Benin reconstituted the force in 2015 to fight jihadist group Boko Haram and its rival, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP).
The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) said 805 “terrorists” were killed on Lake Chad’s islands and neighboring areas between March 28 and June 4, calling the operation a “resounding success.”
The vast, swampy Lake Chad basin stretches across the borders of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad, and Boko Haram and ISWAP have established bases in its many small islands.
Almost 3,000 soldiers from the four countries were involved and captured or destroyed 44 vehicles, 22 motorcycles and weapons in ground, naval and air operations, the force said.
Ammunition was seized and improvised explosive device (IED) production centers were “destroyed,” it said.
IEDs injured around 20 soldiers from Niger, with one in a serious condition, the military force said.
The MNJTF was set up in 1994 but had been largely dormant before 2015.
Boko Haram attacks broke out in Nigeria in 2009 before spreading to neighboring countries.
More than 36,000 people have been killed, mainly in Nigeria, and three million have fled their homes, according to the United Nations.