British soldiers deployed to Nigeria to support fight against Boko Haram

14 January 2016 (Last Updated January 14th, 2016 18:30)

Around 35 British Army soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment (2 R ANGLIAN) will be deployed to support Nigerian armed forces in the fight against Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group based in north-eastern Nigeria.

Around 35 British Army soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment (2 R ANGLIAN) will be deployed to support Nigerian armed forces in the fight against Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group based in north-eastern Nigeria.

The decision is part of the UK's commitment to double the number of personnel deployed on training tasks in Nigeria during 2016.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "Boko Haram is a brutal organisation that has murdered and kidnapped innocent civilians. We stand united with Nigeria in its efforts to defeat them.

"Stepping up our training efforts will help support the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) for crucial counter-insurgency operations."

"Stepping up our training efforts will help support the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) for crucial counter-insurgency operations."

The country will also deploy a specialist team to provide assistance in countering improvised explosive devices (IED), as well as medical training and advice.

A new Royal Air Force (RAF) training team will train the Nigerian Air Force in airfield defence and counter-insurgency.

The decision follows the Nigerian military's appeal to the international community for assistance, following a recent attack on the north-eastern town of Baga.

The extremist group attacked Baga and the surrounding villages after overrunning the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force, which consists of soldiers from Nigeria, Niger and Chad. The group reportedly killed 2,000 people.

Claimed to be the deadliest massacre in the group's five-year insurgency, the attack wounded hundreds of civilians, and forced a least 20,000 to flee.

Around 130 UK military personnel are currently carrying out training tasks in Nigeria.

Tasks include training in infantry skills, civil-military affairs, media operations, command and leadership, IED awareness, as well as support to Nigerian military training schools and establishments.