Chad and Niger reclaims Damasak

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Niamey: A military offensive by the troops of Chad and Nigrt has retaken the north eastern town of Damasak and has killed 200 islamist militants.

Boko Haram had held the town near the Niger border since November. Ten Chadian soldiers were killed and 20 wounded in the offensive that began on Sunday.

About 30 soldiers from both countries were injured in fighting over Malam Fatouri and Damasak, a day after thousands of troops crossed the border to retake areas held by the Sunni Islamist group, whose insurgency has forced Nigeria to delay an election and neighbors to mobilize their armies.

Damasak, the town furthest into Nigeria, is 10 kilometres south of the Niger border, where Niger and Chadian troops have been massing in recent weeks ahead of the offensive.

The offensive, which followed a sustained build-up of troops in southern Niger, opened up a new front in regional efforts to wipe out the Islamist group, whose six-year insurgency has spread across borders.