About 120 militant Islamists have been arrested in Maiduguri, as they were organising the burial of one of their commanders who died in an encounter with soldiers, an army spokesman has said.
According to Brig Gen Olukolade, the 120 militants who were arrested were being interrogated in the custody of the Joint Task Force (JTF).
The latest arrest brought to more than 200 the number of Islamists the army says it has arrested since last week.
Defence spokesman, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade, in a press statement added that the military has also recaptured five areas from the militants.
He said the Special Forces had now secured the environs of New Marte, Hausari, Krenoa, Wulgo and Chikun Ngulalo, all in Borno state, after destroying all the terrorists’ camps sited in these localities.
The statement said that the troops were already interacting with locals and citizens assuring them of their safety and freedom from the activities of insurgents.
Brigadier General Olukolade said terrorists fleeing towards Chad and Niger Republic are being contained by the Multi-National Joint Task Force in various locations at the border.
He said during the raid on terrorist camps, the troops observed a few shallow graves believed to be those of hurriedly buried members.
“Advancing troops also observed a few shallow graves believed to be those of hurriedly buried members of the terrorist groups,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters said it had observed the use of photographs purportedly taken in the areas raided by the Special Forces and wished to state that the photographs were questionable as they did not reflect any related reality of the social or geographical environment.
He said the story and pictures depicting Nigerians fleeing to Niger Republic and other countries were doubtful.
More than 2,000 Nigerians living in border villages in Borno State were reported to have fled as a result of the ongoing military operations targeted at routing the insurgents from the area.
The fleeing villagers were said to have headed to the neighbouring Niger Republic.
“Most of the residents of border villages of Borno have fled to Niger. About 2,000 people from Abadan, Malam Fatori and other villages are now refugees in Difa, Niger Republic,” a top security officer told a national dailies.
The source said that the Joint Military Task Force was on the trail of the members of the Boko Haram sect, who were dislodged from the Sambisa Game Reserve and other camps on Thursday in Borno State.
It was learnt that residents of Maiduguri and other communities far from the border, who did not want to be caught in the cross-fire have also fled to some neighbouring states, including Kano and Bauchi.