The sweeping offensive is taking place along the Niger-Nigeria border, sources said, effectively opening a new front in the fight against the Islamist terror group.
This comes a day after Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS in an audio message purported to be from leader Abubakar Shekau.
“Early this morning, troops from Niger and Chad launched ground and air raids against Boko Haram into Nigeria, and the operation is still continuing,” said a military official in the border town of Diffa, Niger.
“It is an intensive operation that is aimed at pulverizing Boko Haram and crippling their capability,” according to the source. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to comment publicly about the operation.
Residents said artillery fire and fighter jets pushed Boko Haram fighters into the Damasak district of Nigeria, which is a Boko Haram enclave.
“Around 6 a.m., soldiers from Niger and Chad in huge numbers confronted Boko Haram around the Doutchi area outside Diffa and later crossed the bridge into Nigeria,” said Diffa resident Ari Boubakarna.
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Chad, Niger launch ground and air offensive against Boko Haram – CNN.com.