Scores of people marched through the streets of Banamba town in northern Mali to welcome the Nigerian troops who liberated the town from militants.
The militants were in control of the town before the deployment of Nigerian soldiers there earlier this week. Nigeria's Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa'ad Ibrahim Thursday, visited the town to assess the performance of the troops.
A military source in Mali said many people have fled the town before the soldiers advanced toward them. The rebels who got the information of the deployment of the troops were the first to abandon their position, the source said. "The troops did not meet any resistance and reclaimed the city without any casualty."
Meanwhile few people living in the town have welcomed the soldiers and sought protection from them against the rebels.
Banamba is one of the seven cities of the Koulikoro Region of Mali. It has an estimated population of close to 10,000 people. It is the first town liberated by Nigerians.