May 25, 2013 - 10:04 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Nigerian army says it has destroyed a number of well-equipped camps used by the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram, in the north-east of Nigeria, according to BBC News.
Senior officer Chris Olukolade revealed the extensive nature of the camps, which he said were used to co-ordinate attacks on nearby local communities.
Some 2,000 soldiers were deployed to the region last week, in the biggest campaign to date against Boko Haram.
On May 14, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan gave security control to the military after declaring a state of emergency in the three north-eastern states where Boko Haram have been most active - Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
At a news conference on Friday, May 24, Brigadier General Olukolade gave details of the military offensive, showing photos of what he said were hospital facilities and dormitories set up by the militants in the camps.
Photos included a destroyed fuel depot and what appeared to be bomb-making equipment, the BBC says.
"These camps were mini-enclaves from which the insurgents planned their operations and from there they attacked neighboring communities, going to municipalities and returning there," Brig Gen Olukolade said. "Most of their planning and activities was coordinated from these camps."
More than 2,000 people have died in violence in Nigeria since Boko Haram launched its insurgency in 2009 to create an Islamic state.
The group, whose name means "Western education is forbidden", says its quest is to overthrow the Nigerian government and create an Islamic state. There has been growing concern that Boko Haram could be receiving backing from al-Qaeda-linked militants in other countries.