EARLIER TODAY - Nigerian Army 'Retakes Baga Town From Boko Haram' After Fierce Battle; Heavy Casualties Recorded

The Nigerian army says it has retaken the north-eastern town of Baga this afternoon [Feb. 21], held by Boko Haram militants since 3 January. In a tweet from its official account, the army said there had been heavy casualties and that "mopping up" operations were continuing.

The Nigerian army's claim is yet to be independently verified and no further details have been released. Nigeria says 150 people died when Boko Haram took Baga and nearby Doron Baga, but locals said up to 2,000 died.

Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger recently formed a military coalition against the Islamist militants.

It is not yet clear whether other armies were involved in the recapture of Baga. However, the Chadian army spokesperson told the BBC's Thomas Fessy that there had been no involvement from his country's troops.

The Nigerian army has been criticised by its failure to tackle the militant group, although it has recaptured some territory in recent weeks. Last week, Nigeria retook the north-eastern towns of Monguno and Marte from the group.

The massacre at Baga is considered to be the worst attack of Boko Haram's six year insurgency. Thousands fled across Lake Chad when the assault began and have since taken refuge in Chad.

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