Recent attacks carried out by members of the outlawed Boko Haramsect in Borno state have been done out of desperation for food and cash, the military has said.
Army spokesman in the state, Sagir Musa, said in Maiduguri on Friday that recent attacks on some communities in the state indicate that the terrorists, who are still holed up in various hideouts, may be running out of supplies.
“The recent distressed attacks on isolated villages in some agrarian areas of Northern Borno state brings to the fore the blatant desperation of Boko Haram terrorists in search for food items, cash for survival and sustenance of their sacrilegious activities,” he said.
According to the spokesman, sect members who have now also resorted to cannibalism for survival, rob helpless villagers of food and money.
Musa said that the sect had sent a letter to traders in Dikwamarket demanding N1 million to enable them purchase food items and other logistics, failure of which would invoke their wrath.
He also recalled that on Thursday, troops from Banking Forward Operating Base on a mission to 202 Battalion in Bama discovered some Boko Haram members on the road from Bama road carrying out armed robbery attacks on traders and travellers.
“The terrorists had killed three passengers and collected unspecified amounts of cash and food items during the robbery incident,” he said.
A confrontation that ensued left seven casualties on the side of the insurgents, Musa said.
He attributed the recent upsurge in attacks by the sect to the on-going activities of the 7 Division Nigerian Army combat operations team targeted at Boko Haram bases and enclaves in the rural communities of Bama, Damboa and Gajiram.
Some camps which served as shelter for the group have been destroyed and members dispersed to different locations from where they come out and attack innocent civilians.
Musa noted that these new bases and enclaves have been identified, assuring the public that the army is on top of the situation.