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Military Says No Cause For Alarm Over Loss Of Marte To Insurgents
The Nigerian military has said that Marte, the town in Borno State captured by Boko Haram insurgents on Friday, had long been deserted by residents but assured that “efforts are being taking to address any untoward development.”
The military also said that there had been no troop deployed to the town at the time it was taken over by the insurgents as most Nigerian military forces are involved in the operation to rout terrorists from Smbisa Forest.
In a message on its Twitter handle, the Defence Headquarters stated that “Marte had been deserted by citizens most of whom had fled to other towns while others are in IDP camps located in Maiduguri and other places.”
It stated further: “There has not been any static deployment of troops in Marte for quite sometimes in line with the need to emphasise more aggressive patrol of many threatened isolated communities while the assault on the forests and mountain hideouts of terrorists is ongoing.”
The military contended that the terrorists escaping from the offensive operations in Sambisa Forest and their other enclaves under attack “must have found the Marte deserted and decided to harbour there.”
The Defence Headquarters said, however that the recapture of Marte will be dealt with “in a very short while” and assured that there “is really no cause for alarm.”
Marte was first captured by the insurgents around May 2014 but reclaimed by Nigerian troops in February. The town, however, fell again to the terrorists after they launched a massive attack on the town on Friday.