Amidst a widening outbreak of violence and assassinations attributed to the Islamist Boko Haram group, Nigerian soldiers are being diverted to war-torn Somalia under an agreement reached between Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Barack Obama.
Aljazeera reports that about 120 Nigerian soldiers landed in Aden Ade International airport in Mogadishu last Wednesday.
Jonathan reportedly agreed to the deployment during his recent meeting with Obama at the White House.
The soldiers are part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Although, Jonathan secretly arranged the deployment, sources said he plans to contribute more soldiers to the proposed contingent of 8,000 from all of Africa assigned to combat Islamist insurgents in Somalia.
Evidence is mounting that the indigenous Islamist group is being trained in other conflict regions. According to the website Jihad Watch, the Islamist group has declared that: "Very soon, we will wage jihad...We want to make it known that our jihadists have arrived in Nigeria from Somalia where they received real training on warfare from our brethren who made that country ungovernable..."
"This time round, our attacks will be fiercer and wider than they have been," it said, adding it will target all northern states and the country's capital Abuja.
The statement in Hausa, a widely spoken language in the north, was anonymously delivered to journalists in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, where the attacks are concentrated. The statement was attributed to the "Jama'atu Ahlis-sunnah lidda'ati wal Jihad", another name the sect calls itself.