Troops from Chad and Niger revealed a mass grave upon retaking the town of Damasak in northeastern Nigeria from the jihadi group Boko Haram. Many of the bodies discovered beneath a bridge near the town were found with their throats cut while at least one was decapitated. At least 70 and upwards of 100 victims have been counted, though the condition of the bodies suggested the killings occurred some time ago and further efforts may reveal more corpses. The soldiers from Chad and Niger stated they would hold the liberated town until Nigerian troops could arrive, which were not present when the town was retaken.
Boko Haram has waged a deadly insurgency in northern Nigeria for over five years, killing over 5,000 civilians while sweeping across the west African country. Estimates put the number of deaths as a result of the insurgency within Nigeria at over 15,000 in the past three years alone. Recently, Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau declaration of allegiance to ISIS was accepted by the militant group based in Iraq and Syria.
A multinational force involving the militaries of Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon have waged a regional counter offensive against Boko Haram since the start of this year, and they have successfully taken back many towns and territory held by the militant Islamist group. At their height, the group controlled over 14 districts in the country, however that number has shrunk to three. Nonetheless, despite their retreat, security sources reported that Boko Haram killed at least 10 people in the border town of Gamburu on Thursday. Due to the coalition advance, Boko Haram has fallen back to a few pockets of control in the northeastern state of Borno. Officials have stated that it may be possible to drive Boko Haram out of the region by the end of the month.