Nigeria: Military destroyed insurgents' hospital, fuel depots

May 25, 2013 at 2:27 PM
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ABUJA, Nigeria, May 25 (UPI) -- The Nigerian army says it destroyed camps used by Islamist militants to coordinate attacks against communities in northeastern regions of the country.

Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade said the camps were well-equipped, with hospital facilities and dormitories, the BBC reported Friday. Olukolade displayed photos at a news conference he said showed a destroyed fuel depot and what appeared to be bomb-making equipment.

Olukolade described the camps as "mini-enclaves from which the insurgents planned their operations."

He said the military freed three women and six children who had been abducted by Boko Haram during an attack this month on the town of Bama.

The military operations were conducted under a state of emergency President Goodluck Jonathan declared May 14 in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa where Boko Haram has been most active.

Journalists were not immediately able to confirm the authenticity of the photographs or military operations claimed by Olukolade.

No independent observers are present in the conflict area, where phone lines are down and roads are blocked. Aid workers fled the region a week ago.

The military's information blackout is intentional, said Hussaini Abdu, head of an anti-poverty organization in the capital Abuja, the Voice of America reported.

One reason was to "possibly constrain the communications of the insurgents," he said, but also to "disallow the public from accessing such information that can be used to put pressure on the military."

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