Nigerian officials have reported capturing one of the top commanders of the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram Thursday during a battle for the strategic town of Konduga in Borno State.
Major-General Chris Olukolade, Nigeria’s Director of Defence Information (DDI), said that the “seriously wounded, high-ranking terrorist leader is being treated in a military medical facility after he was captured in the operations at Konduga.”
Konduga is a strategic location, given its proximity to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, which has been Boko Haram’s ongoing target in its efforts to establish an Islamic Caliphate in Nigeria.
This news coincides with assurances from Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday that within a month the security challenge posed by members of the Boko Haram sect would reduce drastically.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishop of Maiduguri, Oliver Dashe Doeme, has said that the number of cities taken over by Boko Haram in the northeastern part of Nigeria has now reached 25. Doeme was forced to flee recently, along with thousands of faithful, to the parish of Santa Theresa in Yola, Adamawa State.
In a prepared statement, the Bishop said, “Thousands of people are living in caves on the mountains, in the forest; the few who were able to escape are being assisted by friends in Maiduguri, Mubi and Yola. Thousands have managed to escape into Cameroon and are living under a very difficult condition.”
According to reports originating in the UK, Boko Haram’s strategy of occupying captured territories would represent a significant change from its earlier practice of killing and moving on. This strategic shift is reportedly the result of a recent unconfirmed alliance between Boko Haram and ISIS.