Forces from Niger and Chad have launched a ground and air offensive against militant group Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria, officials say.

The campaign is said to be targeting militants in Borno state.

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It came as Nigerian officials dismissed Boko Haram’s pledge of allegiance to Islamic State as a reaction to military pressure from Nigeria and its allies.

The pledge was posted online on Saturday in an audio message by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.

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He called on Muslims everywhere to swear loyalty to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

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Boko Haram has been fighting an insurgency to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria since 2009, and in recent months the violence has increasingly spilled over into neighbouring states.