10 Boko Haram Suspects Arrested


Ten people suspected of belonging to the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram have been arrested  in northern Nigeria in recent days, a regional police chief said Tuesday.

Seven of them are suspected to be behind a spate of murders targeting policemen and three  are among the hundreds of inmates that escaped when suspected Islamists attacked a jail last  week.

“We arrested seven suspected members of Boko Haram that we think were involved in  hit-and-run killings of policemen in the city in the last few weeks,” Ibrahim Abdu told AFP  in a telephone interview from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

“Similarly our men were able to arrest three members of Boko Haram that escaped from Bauchi  prison last week following an attack by their comrades,” he said.

More than 700 prisoners, including around 100 alleged sect members, were freed in a daring  attack staged on September 7 by suspected Boko Haram on Bauchi State prison in northern  Nigeria.

The Islamist sect last year launched an uprising in and around Borno’s capital Maiduguri  before it was put down by a brutal military and police assault.

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At least 15 people including security personnel have been slain in Nigeria’s north in recent  weeks with six of them killed in two days this week.

Previous nine murders had been staged by motorcycle-riding gunmen mostly in Maiduguri in  recent weeks.

Abdu said the seven were suspected members of the sect arrested after last year’s assault  but later freed in the absence of tangible evidence.

“We believe the seven suspects were among members of the sect that were discharged and  acquitted by the courts for lack of evidence to link them with last year’s riots,” he said.

The sect, also known as the Nigerian Taliban, had fought for the creation of an Islamic  state in Nigeria, whose 150 million population is divided roughly in half between Christians  and Muslims.

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