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'Massive' numbers of Nigerian troops target insurgents

By CNN Staff
May 16, 2013 -- Updated 0119 GMT (0919 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • States of emergency were declared Tuesday for Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states
  • President Goodluck Jonathan says terrorists are causing fear, threatening law and order
  • He also says there has been more insurgent violence in eight other states

(CNN) -- Nigeria announced the deployment of "massive" amounts of troops and resources "to rid the nation's borders territories of terrorist bases and activities," a military spokesman said Wednesday.

The move is in conjunction with the country's state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, and it is intended to end insurgent activities.

"The military operation will focus on tracking down criminal elements within the vicinity of border communities prone to terrorist activities," said Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade, a Defense Headquarters spokesman.

"The operation, which will involve massive deployment of men and resources, is aimed at asserting the nation's territorial integrity and enhancing the security of constituted governmental structures in all territories within Nigeria's borders."

President Goodluck Jonathan declared states of emergency in the three restive states Tuesday. He blamed "terrorists" aimed at "rebellion" who have caused "fear among our citizens and a near breakdown of law and order in parts of the country."

He also noted a rise of insurgent violence in eight other states, including Nasarawa, where scores of police officers were killed last week. Jonathan said "insurgents and terrorists," including the Islamist group, Boko Haram, are trying to destabilize Nigeria.

CNN's Leonie Elliott contributed to this report.

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