by Ed Adamczyk, UPI
The Nigerian town of Gwoza, home of Boko Haram’s command center, has been recaptured, the Nigerian military reported Friday.
A Twitter announcement by the Defense Headquarters said, “FLASH: Troops this morning captured Gwoza destroying the headquarters of the terrorists self-styled caliphate,” a reference to the militant organization’s expressed goal of establishing a Muslim government in western Africa.
In a later statement, military spokesman Chris Olukolade said, “These successful operations have culminated in the dislodgment of terrorists from towns and communities in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states. A massive cordon and search has commenced to locate any of the fleeing terrorists or hostages in their custody.”
Gwoza is near Chibok, where over 200 girls at a boarding school were kidnapped by Boko Haram forces in 2014, initiating an international outrage. Despite suggestions the abducted girls were hidden in Gwoza, the Nigerian military made no reference to them in its statements.
Earlier this month, Boko Haram announced its allegiance to the Islamic State (Daesh). The capture of their operations center can be regarded as a major triumph for the Nigerian army, which has worked since the start of 2015 with armies of neighboring countries to push back Boko Haram advances.