Nigeria: Inside the towns recaptured from Boko Haram [Photo report]

Burnt-out military vehicles, cars pockmarked with hundreds of bullet holes, and rusting tanks daubed with Arabic script litter the main roads in Nigeria's Adamawa State.

Nigeria's military has recaptured all of the major towns seized by the insurgents. Boko Haram's main fighting force is hemmed into the Sambisa Forest, where it is being pounded by air raids and attack helicopters.

Internally displaced people in Nigeria's northeast have started returning home, but health clinics, banks and schools are still lacking and vast stretches of farmland between towns stand barren, meaning thousands could face severe food shortages.

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Reuters photographer Akintunde Akinleye visited former Boko Haram strongholds in north-eastern Nigeria. The insurgents have retreated, leaving Islamic teachings written on the walls of people's homes. Signs of Western education or Christianity have been crudely erased or destroyed.

A defaced cross is seen over a door in a compound once occupied by Boko Haram in Michika townAkintunde Akinleye/Reuters
A local vigilante stands next to a broken sign for the Federal Polytechnic in MararabaAkintunde Akinleye/Reuters
A Boko Haram signboard rests against a wall in a compound in Michika townAkintunde Akinleye/Reuters
The Islamic declaration of faith is scribbled on a shopfront in Michika townAkintunde Akinleye/Reuters
People walk past a bank in Mubi, which locals say was looted by Boko HaramAkintunde Akinleye/Reuters
A woman sits in front of her home, which had been occupied by Boko Haram, in Michika townAkintunde Akinleye/Reuters
An abandoned tank is seen along a road in Bazza town, after the Nigerian military recaptured it from Boko HaramAkintunde Akinleye/Reuters
A military vehicle pockmarked with bullet holes is seen abandoned along a road in BazzaAkintunde Akinleye/Reuters
A soldier walks through a burnt-out building at the headquarters of the Michika local governmentAkintunde Akinleye/Reuters
A budget document is seen in a dusty local government office in Michika town, Adamawa stateAkintunde Akinleye/Reuters
A woman walks past a damaged mosque in the town of Mararaba, after the Nigerian military recaptured it from Boko HaramAkintunde Akinleye/Reuters
People travel in a car with their belongings as they return to the town of MichikaAkintunde Akinleye/Reuters
Women travel in the back of a truck as people return to the town of MararabaAkintunde Akinleye/Reuters

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