PHOTO CREDIT: POINTBLANK NEWS
Nigeria’s military said Wednesday it had
arrested 49 Boko Haram Islamists across
a northeastern state where insurgents
are abandoning their camps and fleeing
north towards Niger. Yobe is one of three states placed under emergency rule during a three-week-old military offensive aimed at crushing Boko Haram, which has waged a deadly
insurgency since 2009.
“A total of 49 suspected Boko Haram
terrorists were apprehended in various
locations in Yobe state,” a defence
ministry statement said. “All the camps of the terrorists in the area had been dislodged as some of the insurgents fled towards Niger,” it added.
Nigeria has claimed major successes in
the offensive launched May 15, but the
details have been impossible to verify
with mobile phone networks cut across
the northeast and access to conflict zones restricted. The military has said some 200 insurgents have been arrested and dozens killed.
However in a video obtained by AFP last
week, Boko Haram leader Abubakar
Shekau claimed the military assault was
failing and soldiers were retreating. The United States on Monday posted a $7
million (5.3 million euros) bounty on
Shekau after declaring him a global
terrorist last year.
The Boko Haram conflict is estimated to
have cost 3,600 lives, including killings by the security forces.