Nigeria's army has captured a key Boko Haram camp, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Saturday (24 December). The Sambisa Forest is believed to be the terror group's last stronghold in the north-east of the country. The military has been engaged in a push to rid the area of the Jihadists.

Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorists?

Boko Haram, which has renamed itself Iswap, fights against Western influence in Nigeria and aims to impose its version of Sharia law throughout occupied territories.

The group carries out attacks in Nigeria and neighbouring countries in a bid to take control of more territory. Three Nigerian states − Adamawa, Borno and Yobe − have been under a state of emergency since May 2013.

Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 people since 2009 and was deemed the world's deadliest terror group, surpassing its ally, Islamic State (Isis/IS/Daesh), in November 2015. Nigeria has become the world's third most-terrorised country as a result of the group's violent insurgency.

Read more about Boko Haram

Earlier in the week, the Nigerian military said it arrested 564 Boko Haram members and freed 1,880 civilians from the Sambisa Forest.

Now, it is reported that the whole area has been reclaimed by the Nigerian government, but this claim has not been independently verified.

In an email seen by Reuters, Buhari said: "I was told by the Chief of Army Staff that the camp fell at about 1:35pm on Friday, 23 December, and that the terrorists are on the run, and no longer have a place to hide."

He added that the recapture of Camp Zero marked the "final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa forest", which is in Nigeria's Borno state.

At its height in 2015, Boko Haram controlled an area around the size of Belgium within Nigeria. It aligned itself with Islamic State (Isis) and tried to create its own state governed by a strict interpretation of sharia law.

During the group's seven-year insurgency, more than 20,000 have been killed and more than two million have been displaced. Nigeria has recently turned to foreign support for help in ridding the country of terrorists.

Nigeria's military receives training and intelligence from the US, but has turned to Russia and Pakistan to purchase warplanes.

Under the Leahy Law, the US has refused to sell aircraft to the west African nation over fears of alleged human rights abuses.

Nigera has also received assistance from the UN who in December launched a $1bn (£783m) funding appeal to help tackle what it defined as "the largest crisis on the African continent."