Nigeria Publishes Photos Of 'Most-Wanted' Boko Haram Militants

Nigeria Publishes Photos Of 'Most-Wanted' Boko Haram Militants

Nigeria's army has published 100 photos of people whom it says are its most-wanted Boko Haram suspects.

The aim is to call on the public to phone special hotlines if any of the suspects were spotted, as it steps up efforts to hunt down the Islamist militants.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who took office in May, has given the military a mid-November deadline to defeat them.

Boko Haram has lost most of its territory this year but increased suicide attacks and bombings since May.

It began its insurgency in 2009 in north-eastern Nigeria, but has since spread its activities to neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

Boko Haram is allied with the Islamic State (IS) group which is fighting for a global caliphate - a state governed in accordance with Islamic law.

READ ALSO:

The photos on the list appear to have been sourced from Boko Haram propaganda material, including videos, reports the BBC's Bashir Sa'ad Abdullahi from the capital, Abuja.

Its leader Abubakar Shekau appears twice on the list, despite previous claims by the army that he had been killed and claims by Chad's President Idriss Deby in August that the group had a new leader who was open to dialogue.

The armysay it will circulate the banner across the country to help it track down the insurgent leaders.

Appeals for public co-operation are written in English as well as Hausa and Kanuri, the two main languages in Nigeria's north-eastern areas where Boko Haram is most active.

READ ALSO:

Founded in 2002, initially focused on opposing Western-style education - Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa language, the group launched military operations in 2009 and has killed thousands mostly in north-eastern Nigeria, abducted hundreds, including at least 200 schoolgirls

The group which has now joined the Islamic State, now calls itself "West African province". They have seized a large area in north-east, where it declared caliphate but the Regional force has retaken most territory this year.

 

Related news