Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigeria's violent Islamic sect Boko Haram has said it will henceforth target all government establishments in all the 19 states in the predominantly-Muslim north and the capital city of Abuja.
In an interview with the online Nigerian website Premium Times, Boko Haram spokesman Abul Qaga said the sect would bomb government offices and residential quarters in retaliation for the destruction of property belonging to suspected sect members in Kano and Borno states by members of the military Joint Task Force (JTF).
He said after arresting suspected sect members, JTF went ahead to destroy their residences.
"Most of these (sect members) people live in rented apartments. But to our utmost surprise, after arresting them, some with their wives and family members, the JTF will bring out their properties. Both the apartments and the properties are then destroyed.
"This has become the new trend and it is becoming difficult for people to rent out accommodation to people, and a lot of people, including our people are homeless,'' the spokesman claimed.
Qaga, however, said the sect would issue warnings ahead of attacks on government buildings to minimize civilian casualties, in what may be a shift from its practice of engaging in indiscriminate killings.
"We don't want innocent people to be caught in the attacks. We are not happy that innocent people are dying in our war with the government. And that is why we have reduced our attacks in the past few days to enable us to strategize," he said.
The sect has recently been using the online website to disseminate information, after accusing the media of misrepresenting it and listing several media organizations as targets.
Boko Haram has killed over 1,200 people since launching its violent campaign in 2009 to avenge the extra-judicial killing of its founder, Mohammed Yusuf, by the police.
The federal government has recently softened its stance toward the sect, now saying it is willing to engage in dialogue as a way out of the crisis.
-0- PANA SEG 18May2012