Nigeria announces major nationwide anti-terror operation

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070403-N-6901L-011 Maradi, Niger (April 3, 2007) - Nigerian soldiers from the 322nd Parachute Regiment line up in formation before participating in target practice facilitated by U.S. Army soldiers during Operation Flintlock 2007. The primary focus of Operation Flintlock is to provide an interactive exchange of military, linguistic and intercultural skills for both nations. U.S. Special Operations Forces depend on the ability to interface with foreign military forces in which this training is meant to enhance. The training will also help Niger to respond to threats within and across their borders to maintain security and stability. This event is part of an ongoing and long standing military-to-military relationship that the U.S. enjoys with Niger, and part of the U.S. State Department's Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Larson. PHOTO/AP
File Photo: Maradi, Niger (April 3, 2007) – Nigerian soldiers from the 322nd Parachute Regiment line up in formation before participating in target practice facilitated by U.S. Army soldiers during Operation Flintlock 2007. The primary focus of Operation Flintlock is to provide an interactive exchange of military, linguistic and intercultural skills for both nations. PHOTO/AP.

Nigeria announced the launch of a major military operation across the country to combat insecurity, the army said in a statement on Saturday.

The annual exercise code-named “CROCODILE SMILE” is part of the army’s efforts to combat insecurity in the West African nation, said Sagir Musa, an army spokesperson.

The operation will target all areas plagued by insecurity, including cyber warfare exercises designed to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across cyberspace, he added.

The army spokesperson said this is the first-ever cyber warfare exercise to be conducted in the history of the African Armed Forces.

It’s scheduled to commence from Oct. 20 to Dec. 31.

According to him, the exercise will also include an identification component aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North East and other parts of the country as a result of the ongoing operations in the various theaters of operations especially in the northeast, north-central, and northwestern parts of Nigeria.

He enjoined citizens not to panic on seeing an increased presence of military personnel and other security agencies as well as the movement of military vehicles and hardware.

Nigeria in recent months has witnessed a series of insecurity cases, such as Boko Haram attacks, kidnapping cases, and herdsmen-farmers conflicts

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