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Nigerian helicopter crashes while fighting Boko Haram

Associated Press


A Nigerian Air Force helicopter crashed in combat, as fighting raged against Boko Haram extremists for control of the strategic town of Baga in northeastern Nigeria, according to the military.

The helicopter crash occurred on Wednesday, according to a tweet by air force spokesperson, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola.

The fighting was at Damasak in Northern Borno state, he said, without giving details of the fate of the helicopter crew.

The military is fighting to regain control of Baga, which Boko Haram seized last week. The town is a key base for a multinational force fighting the extremists. Many Baga residents have fled to the larger city of Maiduguri.

 

The fighting for Baga is intense, the chief of army training and operations, Major General Lamidi Adeosun, told reporters.

“It’s a ding-dong situation but we are engaging them,” he said last week. “We are not in total control but Boko Haram have not taken control of Baga, either.”

Baga, close to the border with Chad, has weapons, ammunition and other equipment are a key target for the extremists. Insurgents also overran the base in 2015.