Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau speaks at an unknown location in this still taken from an undated video released by the outfit.
Vigilantes declared "total war" against Boko Haram in Nigeria as dead bodies littered the streets of Bama in Borno State on Thursday.YouTube screenshot

A 10,000-strong vigilante group declared total war on Boko Haram, as corpses littered the streets of Nigeria's Bama town on Thursday, local newspapers reported.

Many young volunteers had expressed their willingness to join the vigilantes to "end the evil" being perpetrated by Boko Haram, State Coordinator of Civilian JTF, Mallam Abba Aji Kalli was quoted by The Sun.

The vigilantes, which include youth volunteers, retired military personnel and patriotic citizens, have now vowed to storm Sambisa Forest, the insurgents' famous camp and other hide-outs, according to reports.

The civilians had expressed dismay over what they described as the government's refusal to support them even after sacrificing their lives for the counter-insurgency campaign.

This comes as temperatures continue to rise within civilians as streets at Bama in Borno State on Thursday was littered with dead bodies, two days after the town was seized by the Boko Haram insurgents, 

The humanitarian situation in Bama was "terrible" and a "lot of killings" were taking place in the town and that the militants are preventing relatives from burying the dead, Ahmed Zanna, Senator of Borno Central, told BBC.

"So many bodies litter the streets, and people are not allowed to even go and bury the dead ones. So the situation is getting worse and worse," Zanna told the Newsday programme adding: "I am begging the government to send more troops and armoury to Maiduguri."

Boko Haram, in recent months, reportedly captured a string of towns, sparking fears that it could eventually advance towards the state capital, Maiduguri.

Officials said about 26,000 people had been displaced by fighting in Bama, a key town in the state.

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