A 24-hour curfew was yesterday imposed on Damaturu, the Yobe State capital even as the Joint Task Force (JTF) said 25 suspected members of the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnati Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, also called Boko Haram, were arrested during a raid.
The restriction of movement has grounded social and economic activities in Damaturu, the city that has witnessed the worst impact of the Boko Haram insurgency.
A sizeable number of residents including students, civil servants and politicians have deserted the town for fear of the sect.
Lieutenant Lazarus Eli, the spokesman of JTF, is quoted to have said that the exercise was meant to "clean up the state capital of terrorists."
The exercise began around 5:30am yesterday revealed that a cache of arms had been uncovered from many hideouts of Boko Haram members.
"Soon after the commencement of the operations, some terrorists confronted our men but we succeeded in subduing them. No life was lost on both sides and the good news is that we have arrested 25 suspects.
"We have also seized large quantity of weapons, including RPGs and multi-purpose machine guns.
"The exercise will continue. We have restricted movement of people and vehicles.
"JTF will advise the state government on the right time to relax the curfew," Eli said.
The closure of all the entry points to Damaturu caused gridlock, as motorists going to different parts of the country from Borno and neighbouring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger were stranded.
Residents in Damaturu have remained indoors.
Meanwhile, the attacks on telecommunication masts by the insurgents have grounded communication and aggravated the woes of the masses.