The Nigerian army is on full alert this morning, warning citizens of a potential attack by the militant group Boko Haram. The attack would target water supplies for cities in Nigeria’s northeast region, where Boko Haram has focused their attacks in recent weeks. “The Command wishes to inform the general public that Boko Haram terrorists plan to buy large quantities of rat poison and other poisonous items to enable them to poison water sources,” reads the statement from the Nigerian Army.
Government and military officials urge citizens to stock up on clean water and other emergency supplies until the threat has been thoroughly investigated, reports the International Business Times. This latest threat from Boko Haram comes on the heels of three suicide attacks carried out over the weekend in the northeastern region of Nigeria. The first struck a mosque at around 2 p.m. on Friday, as a young man pushed his way through the crowds gathered for afternoon prayer.
Eyewitness accounts suggest that his suicide vest detonated early before he could reach the most crowded area of the mosque. Still, 16 civilians were killed in the attack, the Chicago Tribune reports. #BokoHaram suspected of shooting 20 dead in #Nigeria, October 22, 2015 Also on Friday, two female suicide bombers attacked another mosque killing six people. This attack was carried out in the city of Maiduguri, which has been under siege by Boko Haram in recent months, with suicide attacks carried out nearly every week since September.
The third attack, on Sunday, failed before the Boko Haram militants could reach their target. The blast claimed the lives of all four suicide bombers, and luckily nobody else was injured. The target was a military checkpoint in the city center of Maiduguri. The bombers barely reached the checkpoint before their explosives went off unexpectedly.
Even as the violence escalates in cities throughout Nigeria, the Nigerian government has put the pressure on Boko Haram in recent months, with arrests by the Nigerian secret police throughout the country. According to the Nigerian Army, the attacks are becoming less coordinated, and Boko Haram is growing desperate as their forces are driven out of the embattled northeast region of Nigeria.
In September, the Nigerian secret police arrested some 60 Boko Haram militants, foiling a suspected attack against a lavish estate in Lagos. Just this past week, 45 of the suspected militants were formally charged in a magistrate court.