The Nigerian army has released a list with 100 most wanted Boko Haram terror group suspects. The identities of the alleged insurgents were disclosed during an anti-Boko Haram campaign in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state and epicentre of the group's insurgency.
Chief of army staff Major-General Tukur Yusuf Buratai brandished banners with the pictures of the suspects and hotline numbers to report any sightings.
Buratai was quoted by Nigerian media as saying: "These photographs of terrorists' suspects are to be identified with their numbers attached to each of the 100 photos, while members of the general public could send in more information on the locations or whereabouts of these Boko Haram sect members that appeared in these special photo identifications.
"Each of the suspects must have either participated or involved in the ongoing war in the theatre operations of Lafiya Dole," he continued referring to the ongoing military operation in the northeast, ravaged by Boko Haram attacks.
Buratai did not however disclose the reward for those who provided information that led to the capture of the suspects. He added that most of those wanted were teenagers.
The banners, which will be circulated among communities, were revealed shortly after the army announced it no longer intended to give further warnings to Boko Haram and it would continue to raid the groups' camps across the northeast.
A new Nigeria-led task force – consisting of 8,700 troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin – is ready to take over in the ongoing regional fight against the terrorists.
The Nigerian government had declared the terrorists were surrendering but the group has refuted the claims in an audio message. The voice identified in the broadcast is thought to belong to Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, who was rumoured to have been replaced due to his repeated absence from the group's videos.
Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorists?
Boko Haram (recently renamed Iswap) fights against Western influence in Nigeria and aims to impose its version of Sharia law in the country. The group declared an Islamic caliphate in Gwoza, along the Cameroon border, in August 2014.
Boko Haram has raided several cities in the north of the country in a bid to take control of more territory. Three states − Adamawa, Borno and Yobe − have been under a state of emergency since May 2013, due to Boko Haram's attacks.
The group has killed more than 17,000 people since its insurgency became violent in 2009.