Army spokesman Captain Salihu Mustapha told AFP that they would conduct operation sweep and search this week in some villages in Plateau state in which suspected militants are hiding.
“Residents have been warned to leave to avoid getting caught up in any violence,” the spokesman said.
Boko Haram, which means ‘Western Education is forbidden’, claimed attacks in central Plateau state last weekend that killed more than 100 people, but police insisted that Muslim herdsmen from the Fulani tribe were responsible.
Troops from the military’s Special Task Force (STF) have already been deployed to several villages in Plateau state, Mustapha said.
“We are telling (residents) to evacuate the areas to avoid being caught in a crossfire when the operation begins.”
The defence headquarters said in a statement on Sunday that “some of the criminals who carried out last week’s attack on innocent people are still hiding around some villages in order to continue to perpetrate crimes.
“The Task Force is determined to rid the state of these murderers,” it said, adding that the operation would be launched in five villages.
Plateau state is in Nigeria’s so-called “Middle Belt,” where the mainly Christian south meets the majority Muslim north, and has been the site of sectarian violence in recent years.
The Islamist sect wanted to impose strict sharia law in the country and had warned the Christians to either embrace Islam or be ready for the deadly attacks. The sect has killed more than 1,000 since mid-2009 in Africa’s most populous nation and top oil producer.
Boko Haram has targeted Jos in the past, but there is no apparent link between the Fulani and the radical Islamist sect.