The Boko Haram extremist group has finally been crushed — driven from its last forest enclave with fighters on the run and no place to hide, Nigeria’s president declared Saturday.
His victorious statement came as the Islamic State group, with which one faction of Boko Haram is allied, claimed that a successful attack on an army barracks in northeast Nigeria’s Yobe state “killed and wounded many.” The communique on social media said the attack took place Thursday, the same day President Muhammadu Buhari said troops defeated Boko Haram in its Sambisa Forest stronghold in neighboring Borno state.
It was an indicator that despite Buhari’s announcement, Nigeria is unlikely to see an end soon to the deadly suicide bombings, village attacks and assaults on remote military outposts in northeastern Nigeria carried out by the country’s homegrown Islamic extremist group. Already, there are reports that the insurgents have been regrouping in Taraba and Bauchi states, south of their northeastern stronghold in Borno state, and taking advantage of a decades-old conflict in central Nigeria between mainly Muslim nomadic cattle herders and sedentary Christian farmers.
In a statement, Buhari commended Nigerian troops for “finally entering and crushing the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents at Camp Zero,” which is located deep within the heart of Sambisa Forest.