The Nigerian military has once again claimed to have “defeated” Boko Haram. Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the chief of the Nigerian army, recently told BBC at the end of last month the jihadist group has been “defeated” militarily but “not eliminated.”
However, this week, Boko Haram suicide bombers killed up to nineteen people and wounded 23 others in a spate of attacks that targeted a civilian self-defense force and the people who had gathered to mourn their deaths in Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria’s Borno state, known as the birthplace of the jihadist group.
In the last two years, the Nigerian government has claimed to have decimated Boko Haram on several occasions, but violence affiliated with the terrorist organization continues to plague Nigeria and its neighbors.
Nigeria alleged in December to have “crushed” the jihadists in their stronghold of the Sambisa Forest, which covers the northeastern Nigerian states of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Kano.
“It’s not the first time Nigeria has appeared to claim a premature victory against Boko Haram. Back in December 2015, Nigeria’s president Buhari claimed Boko Haram had been ‘technically’ defeated, but in the month that followed, attacks by the sect resulted in over 200 deaths,” notes Quartz.
Nigeria has also repeatedly alleged to have spent Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, but he keeps resurfacing in propaganda videos threatening the country.
Boko Haram has suffered some setbacks in recent years, losing territory to the U.S.-backed African region’s Multinational Joint Task Force currently fighting the terrorist group.
The coalition includes troops from Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Benin.
Quartz points out, “Under president Muhammadu Buhari however, Nigeria’s military forces have been successful in the fight against the sect, recovering swathes of previously occupied territory and freeing hundreds of abductees.”
The most recent Nigerian military claim that it defeated Boko Haram came on June 29, less than a week after the end of Islam’s holiest month of Ramadan, during which the terrorist group killed and injured dozens of people throughout Nigeria.
Boko Haram, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), is increasingly using girls and young women to carry out suicide attacks in Nigeria, a prevalent tactic employed during Ramadan.
Together, ISIS and its Boko Haram ally have executed at least 875 people, more than half of the total 1,639 Ramadan fatalities, and wounded 577 others, data compiled by Breitbart News reveals.
Boko Haram has reportedly killed more than 20,000 people and displaced an estimated 2.7 million in its bid to create an Islamic state launched in 2009.