Boko Haram factions controlled by Abubakar Shekau and Abu Mus’ab Albarnawi still maintain cells from where they plan and launch attacks in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital in northeast Nigeria and neighbouring communities, security sources and locals told a national daily.
Members of the Civilian JTF, community leaders and soldiers operating in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states told the national daily that while the Nigerian military had succeeded in making it difficult for the Boko Haram to operate from Sambisa forest, the terrorists had established new or reactivated old cells in other places.
They said there are several Boko cells that thrive within 100 kilometres radius of Maiduguri, enabling would-be suicide bombers to sneak into populated places such as markets and places of worship to kill unsuspecting residents.
The sources added that armed robbery, cattle rustling and abductions for ransom have become daily occurrence, adding that Boko Haram terrorists had vandalized telecommunication masts, making it difficult for victims to call for support from security operatives on time.
A community leader cited Sunday’s attacks in Damboa to the presence of some Boko Haram camps around the town, adding that the camps had been there for long and wondered why troops were not given directives to dislodge them.
There are camps around Damboa controlled by Mamman Nur and Abu Mus’ab. They are located at Ajigin, Talala, Maudum and a big one at Alagarno; they are sandwiched by units under control of the 3 Division and 7 Division of the Nigerian Army,