Nigeria's military said attacks by militants from Boko Haram and a splinter group affiliated with Daesh had "necessitated the contiguous nations of the Lake Chad basin to jointly launch this massive onslaught."

In this file photo, soldiers of the Chad army stand next to a Land Cruiser near the Koundoul market, 25 km from N Djamena, upon their return after a monthslong mission fighting Boko Haram in neighbouring Nigeria. January 3, 2020.
In this file photo, soldiers of the Chad army stand next to a Land Cruiser near the Koundoul market, 25 km from N Djamena, upon their return after a monthslong mission fighting Boko Haram in neighbouring Nigeria. January 3, 2020. (AFP)

Nigeria on Thursday said it had launched a "massive" joint offensive with troops from Chad and Niger against militants waging a decade-long insurgency in the region.

The announcement comes after Chad's defence minister said on Tuesday his country had deployed forces across its neighbours' borders to battle insurgents who killed almost 100 Chadian soldiers last month.

Nigeria's military said attacks by fighters from Boko Haram and a splinter group affiliated with the Daesh terror group had "necessitated the contiguous nations of the Lake Chad basin to jointly launch this massive onslaught."

Details about the operation were sketchy. Nigeria has made repeated claims in the past to have rolled back the insurgents.

The 10-year revolt has left at least 36,000 dead and displaced around 1.8 million people in northeast Nigeria alone.

The conflict has spilled over into neighbouring countries as the militants have established camps and launched attacks against military and civilian targets.

The countries around Lake Chad have set up a multinational force to counter militant groups but it has so far failed to end the bloodshed.

The militants on March 23 killed at least 98 Chadian soldiers in an attack on an island army base in Lake Chad.

Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno declared the surrounding area a "war zone" as he pledged a "lightning response" to the killings.

Chad earlier withdrew some 1,200 troops from Nigeria in January after a monthslong mission battling the militants.

Source: AFP