The Borno State border town of Marte, has again being seized by Boko Haram gunmen, security sources and government officials have confirmed.
Security sources said the terrorists, most of whom had fled Sambisa forests and their other strongholds across Borno State, have now regrouped in Marte, which is 112km north of Maiduguri, the state capital.
The state deputy governor, Zannah Mustapha, confirmed the development on Friday.
Mr. Mustapha, on Friday also confirmed that 600 women and girls have been kitted by the insurgents as suicide bombers with the aim of causing multiple explosions in the town.
The deputy governor, however, urged residents to exercise patience with the security agencies, who had to impose a dusk to dawn curfew following the surprise unsuccessful attack by the insurgents Wednesday evening in the state capital.
“It is unfortunate that we are experiencing yet another attack in Maiduguri at this time that we are thinking that the insurgency should have subsided following the taking over of Sambisa forest by the military”, said the deputy governor.
“Our thinking was that every other place should have been blocked so that the insurgency would be curtailed to a restricted area. But that has not been the case, because the insurgents have been fleeing to other communities.
“Initially we were opposed to the suggestion made by the military; but when we received a security report that about 600 women have been kitted as suicide bombers and are to be sneaked into Maiduguri during the attack, coupled with the gory pictures of some of the women who detonated themselves during the attack, we had no option than to okay the curfew.
The deputy governor had also confirmed the recapture of Marte by Boko Haram terrorists.
“It is sad as we have been made to understand that Marte is today completely fallen under the control of the insurgents, which to us is a very huge set back”, he said.