Boko Haram strikes into north-central Nigeria in obvious growth – officers

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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Boko Haram insurgents have taken over a number of communities in Nigeria’s north-central Niger state, providing villagers cash and incorporating them of their ranks to struggle the federal government, a neighborhood authorities official and the state’s info fee advised Reuters.

The Islamist group is often concentrated within the northeast of Africa’s most populous nation, and its presence in Niger, a state that borders the federal capital territory, may point out a regarding unfold at a time the army says its counter-insurgency efforts are working.

Suleiman Chukuba, chairman of Shiroro native authorities space in Niger state, which borders Abuja, mentioned Boko Haram fighters have been now current in at the least eight wards out of a complete 25.

“Shiroro local government has an uncountable number of Boko Haram fighters,” Chukuba mentioned.

Boko Haram, whose title roughly interprets as “Western education is forbidden”, has waged an insurgency since 2009, joined extra just lately by its offshoot, Islamic State West Africa Province. The combating has killed nearly 350,000 and displaced hundreds of thousands, in line with a United Nations estimate. learn extra .

Shiroro has a inhabitants of 331,000 individuals and spans 4,700 sq. kilometres, in line with Niger state’s official web site.

Niger state info commissioner Muhammad Sani Idris confirmed that Boko Haram fighters, who have been initially regarded as armed bandits, had made inroads within the state. But Idris mentioned that the state authorities and safety businesses have been capable of curtail the unfold.

“We are doing whatever it takes as a state,” he mentioned. “And we will combine the methods of our security personnel and our local vigilantes.”

The military mentioned final month shut to six,000 fighters from Boko Haram had just lately surrendered, attributing the event to the army’s counter-insurgency efforts. learn extra

Chukuba known as on the federal authorities extra troops to the realm to struggle the insurgents.

Reporting By Maiduguri newsroom; Writing by MacDonald Dzirutwe and Libby George; Editing by Daniel Wallis