The Defence Headquarters has said its Special Forces are focusing on the new terrorist threats in Borno State through ongoing land and air patrols in Bama and Gwoza.
The army said available information and intelligence were being used to trail terrorists that were regrouping to destabilise the areas, adding that some of them had been apprehended.
Boko Haram insurgents, who were dislodged from their Sambisa Game Reserve by security forces, had reportedly dispatched threat letters to residents of Bama and Gwoza a week earlier, warning of bloodbath in seven days and forcing them to flee their homes.
The sect had in the letters said to be written in Kanuri and Hausa languages, warned residents of the towns, who are mainly civil servants, to resign their jobs and burn their employment documents or risk being consumed by the impending war.
Some of the Boko Haram insurgents, who were dislodged from their enclaves in northern and central Borno, were believed to have regrouped on Gwoza hills and in Mandara mountains in southern Borno.
But the Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade, told our correspondent on Sunday that the special forces would deal with the insurgents, whom he described as miscreants.
According to him, the troops on the ground are doing all that is necessary to contain the new threats and ensure that lives and property are protected.
Asked if there would be fresh deployment of troops in the troubled areas, Olukolade demurred but noted that deployment was a continuous exercise that would be done when the need arose.
He said, “Threats by the group are being duly addressed by ongoing patrols of the special forces on land and air. That area is now under a special focus and every available information is being used to trail any terrorist attempting to team up for any kind of operation or threat against citizens.”
Meanwhile, men of the Special Task Force on Friday battled with insurgents, who were planning to attack some minority villages of Yamini, Karkashi, Shikal and Lokan, on the fringes of southern Plateau State.
The villagers had sent a distress call to the task force, complaining that some insurgents, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, were camping behind Mango plantation in Wase town and Sakin Kudu in Taraba State with the intention of attacking them.
They had also fled their communities for fear of being attacked by these insurgents, who were also said to have mixed up with some terrorist elements suspected to have camped in Ibbi on the fringes of Taraba State.
However, following the call, some operatives were said to have been deployed on Friday to dislodge them from the villages.
Executive Director, Stefanos Foundation, Mr. Mark Lipdo, who raised the alarm, said the insurgents retreated on sighting the men of the task force.
Lipdo, in a text message to our correspondent on Sunday, said, “Indiginous minorities around Karkashi/Yamini of Southern Plateau are full of praises for Special Task Force as they watch their adversaries fleeing yesterday (Friday June 21, 2013) on military arrival. Sources said people slept well as only a few fulani now remaining around Shikal and that many are returning to their homes. Thanks to STF.”
STF Spokesman, Capt. Mustapha confirmed the development. He however said that nobody was killed, adding that there were also no arrests.
He said, “Our men were sent to dislodge them and we are also deploying strategies to ensure that elements of terrorists do not infiltrate Plateau through that flank”