MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, June 8 (UPI) -- The Nigerian government's headquarters for its military operations against the Boko Haram militant group has been moved to the city of Maiduguri, where the group laid siege months ago.
The new anti-Boko Haram headquarters would increase effectiveness in the fight against the insurgent militants, according to Nigerian Army spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman.
"From now on, the fight against terrorism and insurgency would be monitored, coordinated and controlled from this center," Usman said on Monday.
More than 80 people have died in bombings in Maiduguri in the recent days as the military began work to establish the new headquarters.
Boko Haram attempted to take control of Maiduguri in January, but was continuously repelled by Nigerian security forces.
The militant Islamist group was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department in 2013. Boko Haram seeks to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria and has ruthlessly targeted civilians .
"Civilians in northeast Nigeria have been living through horrifying acts of cruelty and violence by Boko Haram," United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein recently said in a press release. "These include wanton killings, summary executions, forced participation in military operations -- including the use of children to detonate bombs, forced labour, forced marriage and sexual violence, including rape."
Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in March.