Lagos, Nigeria: Nigeria's military cannot meet the president's December deadline to crush Boko Haram's Islamic uprising, and Nigerians must expect suicide bombings to continue, a government spokesman said Thursday.
Air Commodore Yusuf Anas of the Center for Crisis Communication said the deadline "may be unrealistic" and warned Nigerians not to view December as a "sacrosanct date when all suicide bombings will end."
The 6-year-old uprising already has killed 20,000 people and driven 2.3 million from the homes.
"The timeline on when to stop the insurgents from activating sleeper cells and detonating bombs into soft targets in any part of the country, especially in the frontline states, is therefore not tenable," Anas said.
Forces from Nigeria and neighboring Chad earlier this year drove the extremists out of areas in which they had proclaimed an Islamic caliphate. Recently, the Nigerian Air Force and ground troops have reported destroying numerous Boko Haram camps and freeing more than 1,000 kidnap victims.