Boko Haram crisis: At least 70 bodies found in Nigerian town
At least 70 bodies have been found dumped outside the town of Damasak in north-eastern Nigeria, after it was recaptured from Boko Haram militants.

The victims appear to have been killed some time ago, as the bodies were partially mummified by the desert air.

Troops from Niger and Chad seized Damasak on Saturday, ending months of control by the Islamist militants.

Earlier, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan predicted Boko Haram would lose all territory within a month.

Damasak is a trading town in Borno state near Niger's border and is about 200km (120 miles) from the state's main city of Maiduguri.

It was overrun by the militants, who began their insurgency in 2009 to create an Islamic state, at the end of last year.

Many of those found in Damasak had had their throats slits and some had been decapitated. It is not yet known who the victims were.

Chadian army Col Azem Bermandoa Agouna told AFP news agency that he had seen "about 100 bodies spread under a bridge just outside the town".

Together with the Nigerian army, forces from Chad, Niger and Cameroon are involved in an offensive against the Islamist insurgents who began taking over territory about a year ago - after being pushed out of their base in Maiduguri.

Nigeria is preparing to hold presidential elections on 28 March after security concerns led to a postponement of the original date in mid-February.

'Under-rated external influence'
President Jonathan's government has been heavily criticised for its failure to end the six-year insurgency in the north-east.

Boko Haram at a glance:
Founded in 2002, initially focused on opposing Western-style education - Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa language
Launched military operations in 2009 to create an Islamic state
Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria - has also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
Abducted hundreds, including at least 200 schoolgirls
Controls several north-eastern towns
Launched attacks on neighbouring states
Can regional force beat Boko Haram?
Why is Boko Haram so strong?

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