As it escalates its insurgency within Nigeria and in some parts of neighbouring countries, the Islamist group Boko Haram is reportedly preparing to use children and livestock to carry out attacks targeting civilians.
According to the Daily Mail, the Nigerian government has received intelligence reports that Boko Haram is planning to use bomb-laden livestock to attack busy public places throughout the country. In addition, child fighters carrying tool boxes with improvised explosive devices are also going to be used in terror attacks as well.
"Available intelligence reports indicate a plan by Boko Haram to use young male suicide bombers disguised as cobblers to hide explosives in their tool boxes and detonate them in soft target areas," Mike Omeri, coordinator of Nigeria's National Information Center, revealed.
Omeri listed these "soft target areas" as markets, restaurants, ATM locations, political rallies, and worship centres, among others.
"Also there is indication of a plan by this group to use livestock, such as goats, cows, donkeys and camels, laden with explosives to attack chosen targets," Omeri added.
Omeri then urged the public to exercise caution as well as vigilance. The coordinator asked everyone to be aware of any suspicious activity "within their environment."
The escalation of Boko Haram's activities as Nigerian presidential elections approached has prompted armed intervention from Nigeria's neighbours in order to combat the terrorist group.
On Thursday last week, Chadian warplanes carried out bombings on Malumfatori village in Borno state in support of an incursion by Chadian infantry. The action resulted to the expulsion of the extremists from the northeastern Nigerian village, and marked the first foreign intervention against the Islamist insurgents.
The African Union also pledged its support to combat the insurgency in a recent summit in Ethiopia, calling for 7,500 West African troops to deploy to join Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin in the fight against the Boko Haram uprising.
The US will also provide assistance, the Daily Mail reported.