Military troops have reportedly retreated from Boko Haram’s last known stronghold, Sambisa Forest, because of planted land mines.
According to reports by Reuters, a vigilante and a security source both confirmed the pullback from the Sambisa Forest, a day after an offensive aimed at rooting out the insurgents.
“The soldiers have retreated to Bama because of mines. They had been on the road but that made them vulnerable; so they moved to the bush but there are mines planted there (too),” one soldier who did not want to be named told Reuters.
Similarly, reports by AFP said the terrorists had amassed in the group’s Sambisa Forest stronghold, as a military offensive tries to flush them out.
Consequently, soldiers were forced to retreat because of the extensive use of landmines in the area, one of which exploded killing a soldier and three vigilantes.
“Boko Haram are in large numbers in Sambisa,” said the vigilante who requested anonymity for security reasons, as he was part of the operation.
“All their fighters who were pushed out of Bama, Dikwa, Gwoza and Damboa (in Borno State) all moved to Boko Haram camps in Sambisa,” he added.
Details of the offensive came as a series of photographs circulated on social media accounts linked to the Islamic State group of heavily armed fighters, purportedly from Boko Haram.
No independent verification was possible but some of the accounts said the images were released under the name, ‘The Islamic State in West Africa.’