Marte, the border town in the northern flank of Borno state has again fallen to the Boko Haram sect, 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, a town 112km north of Maiduguri, the state capital.
The deputy governor of Borno State, Zannah Mustapha, confirmed that Marte was seized on Friday.
The news came as soldiers sustained a 24-hour curfew imposed on Maiduguri, the state capital on Thursday after Boko Haram terrorists attempted an invasion of the city on Wednesday night.
Intelligence obtained after the Wednesday attack suggested that at least 600 females had accompanied the Boko Haram terrorists with a mission to carry out multiple suicide bombing in the metropolis.
Three of the women had detonated their suicide belts at the frontline on Wednesday, killing three members of the civilian-JTF and injured several others.
Borno State deputy governor, Mr. Mustapha, on Friday also confirmed to newsmen that 600 women and girls have been kitted by Boko Haram terrorist as suicide bombers with the aim of causing multiple explosions in the town.
The deputy governor said residents must be patient with the security agencies in spite the attendant hardships caused by the dusk to dawn curfew.
“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.