World Bulletin/News Desk
Four senior Nigerian officers have reportedly been held for "absconding" from their post in northeastern Mubi town, about 196km from Yola, the provincial capital of Adamawa State, in fear of an impending Boko Haram offensive.
"Four commanders, one of them a Lt. Colonel, have been arrested and detained along with some rank and file for deserting their post at Mubi when they got wind of the attack on the town," a top military source told Anadolu Agency on Sunday, asking not to be named.
"Disappointing as their action is, no one can conclude it is a case of desertion yet because the issue is still being investigated," said the source.
Militants reportedly captured Mubi last week, sending locals on their heels.
"Yes, some officers are being questioned in an ongoing investigation into certain development in the operations," defense spokesman Chris Olukolade told AA.
"None is in the category of Generals," he insisted.
A senior policeman told AA Saturday that troops had withdrawn from Mubi to allow fighter jets to flush out the insurgents from the town and elsewhere.
Defense headquarters said in a statement Saturday night that efforts are underway to dislodge militants from towns they are holding.
"Necessary deployment of troops and equipment is ongoing to reverse all recent violation and breach of security by terrorists and criminals operating in parts of the country," read the statement.
Vimtim, the hometown of Nigeria's defense chief Alex Badeh in Adamawa, had also reportedly come under the militants' control.
The Nigerian government announced last month reaching a Chad-brokered cease-fire with Boko Haram which stipulated the safe return of over 200 schoolgirls abducted by the group in northeastern Borno State in April.
Chief of Defense Staff Alex Badeh said two weeks ago that troops had been asked to halt counterinsurgency operations in line with the terms of the cease-fire.
Foreign Minister Aminu Wali later confirmed the cease-fire, saying negotiations were ongoing in neighboring Chad and exonerated Boko Haram from a spate of recent attacks and kidnappings.
But militants have since mounted several daring attacks in northern Nigeria, resulting in multiple deaths and capture of towns.
A man purported to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau appeared in a new video on Friday denying any deal with Nigeria and threatening that the abducted girls are not coming back because they have been married off.
Nigeria has battled Boko Haram for the past five years, with thousands killed and millions displaced by the violence, which has been largely limited to the country's volatile northeastern region.
Last Mod: 03 Kasım 2014, 09:52