Nairobi, Oct 31 (IANS/EFE) Militants of the Boko Haram radical Islamist group have seized the important northeastern Nigerian town of Mubi, days after the government confirmed that ceasefire negotiations were still continuing, media reported on Friday.
Eyewitnesses said that Boko Haram attacked the second most populous town in the state of Adamawa Friday as the group’s fighters clashed with Nigerian forces.
Citing the witnesses, the daily Nigeria Today reported that the militants stormed and burned the police headquarters and opened the doors of the prisons.
The government has not yet confirmed the death toll in the attack, which led hundreds of inhabitants to flee Mubi after the withdrawal of the government forces.
After Mubi, Boko Haram radicals took control of the nearby town of Vimtim and continued besieging other towns in the area.
Boko Haram started preaching and recruiting jihadis in Mubi, according to the Daily Post newspaper that quoted an inhabitant of Oba town, 30 km from Mubi.
The new attack came two weeks after the Nigerian army announced a ceasefire with the extremist group, and an agreement to soon release 200 girls abducted by the group in April.
But the girls have not been freed so far.
The government also announced that it was still negotiating with Boko Haram which has carried on its attacks and kidnapped 60 women two weeks ago.
According to the Nigerian government, Boko Haram has killed more than 3,000 people since the beginning of the year in its campaign to impose Islamic Sharia law and reject Western values.