Officials in Mali indicated Islamic militants, who recently took control of the north part of the country but were dislodged and sent into hiding by French forces last week, might try to join with Boko Haram in Nigeria, Leadership Newspapers reported Monday.
Boko Haram is an Islamic militant sect that has taken responsibility for bombing Christian places of worship and wants to institute Sharia law in Nigeria.
A man identifying himself as a commander of Boko Haram, Sheik Muhammed Abdulazeez, announced a cease-fire agreement with security forces in northeastern Nigeria last week. He said the government promised to release some jailed sect members as part of the agreement.
A military source said sect members who failed to fulfill their promise of peace will be dealt with decisively, Leadership reported.
"We are aware of speculation that the Boko Haram leaders who are fighting with the Malian terrorists might likely come back to the country to continue bombing people and places of worship. The earlier they buried that thought the better," the source said. "We are ready for them, we are policing our borders and if they are coming back with the intention of continuing the fight we would deal with them decisively."
Maj. Gen. Bolaji Koleosho, army spokesman, said Nigeria would not accept Boko Haram's offer of peace until the sect stopped terrorist attacks for one month.