The Defence Headquarters of the Nigerian Army has disclosed that fleeing Boko Haram terrorists have taken to disguising themselves as ‘hunters’ or vigilante group members in order to inflict terror to soft targets in affected communities.
According to a statement on the website of the Nigerian defense headquarters, the terrorists by their current modus operandi are trying to evade detection, ‘‘following the coordinated military offensive against the remnants of Boko Haram Terrorists in Sambisa forest.’‘
‘‘The terrorists, after being smoked out of Sambisa forest, in their desperation to wreak havoc on innocent Nigerians and to remain relevant, devised a new tactics of dressing like vigilantes or hunters to deceive unsuspecting members of the public of their true identity,’‘ the statement added.
In their desperation to wreak havoc on innocent Nigerians and to remain relevant, devised a new tactics of dressing like vigilantes or hunters to deceive unsuspecting members of the public of their true identity.
The case of of a mass shooting in Adamawa State’s Kuda-Kaya village was cited, where a group of Boko Haram terrorists, dressed like vigilantes, opened fire on elated people during a ceremony.
The security outfit advised the public to be wary of unsubscribed services or presence of vigilantes or hunters in their neighbourhood, according to them, ‘‘in order not to ignorantly harbour killer gang in their midst.’‘
The latest attempt on soft targets in Maiduguri capital of Borno State was averted by vigilante group who stopped two suspicious men from joining the Ramadan prayers early Monday morning (June 27).
The suspects later detonated their bombs outside the mosque killing themselves, local sources said. There has been similar detonations in the recent past where the bombers have only succeeded in killing themselves.
Army onslaught since Buhari became President
The Nigerian Army has intensified combat with Boko Haram since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power. The army and government insists that a ‘technical victory’ had been won against the terrorists who currently are not in charge of any LGA in the three worst hit states, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
An operation code named ‘Lafiya Doole’ – Peace is a necessity – has seen the Army take the fight to Boko Haram on land and partly through the Air Force. The Army claims the terrorists are now restricted to the Sambisa forest which the army is clearing gradually.
Boko Haram is fighting for the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate in the country’s north. The group has also allied itself with the Islamic State group which is based in Iraq and Syria but with growing presence in Africa especially in Libya.