Nigeria has launched a military campaign to flush Islamist militants out of their bases in remote border areas, after President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the north-east.
Nigerian troops deployed in large numbers, part of a plan to rout an insurgency by the Boko Haram Islamist group that has seized control of parts of the region.
The campaign targets semi-desert areas of the three states in which Mr Jonathan declared an emergency on Tuesday – Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, three of the poorest and most remote in the country. The Islamist insurgency has cost thousands of lives and destabilised Africa’s top energy producer since it began in 2009, but it has mostly happened far from economic centres such as Lagos, although the capital Abuja was bombed in 2011 and 2012.
Residents and Reuters reporters saw army trucks carrying soldiers enter Yola and Maiduguri to seek out militants.