BBC News Africa
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has said he hopes that all territory seized by Islamist militant group Boko Haram will be retaken within a month.
“They are getting weaker and weaker by the day,” he told the BBC.
But the president – who faces elections in a week – admitted the response to the insurgents’ initial advance in north-east Nigeria had been too slow.
The army has claimed recent victories over Boko Haram in a conflict that has killed thousands since 2012.
Backed by neighbouring countries Chad, Niger and Cameroon, Nigeria’s military says it has recaptured 11 of the 14 districts which had been under militant control.
On Thursday, however, Boko Haram attacked the town of Ngala, killing 11 people, after the army said it had retaken it.
President Jonathan’s government has been heavily criticised for its failure to end the insurgency.
The government has made similar claims in the past about defeating or driving back Boko Haram within a specific period – but these have not been borne out by events.
The Nigerian insurgents this month pledged their allegiance to Islamic State militants, who control large parts of Syria and Iraq.
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