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BOKO HARAM COMMANDER ARRESTED IN KANO

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Nigerian soldiers have arrested, on Friday 05/11/2012, Suleiman Mohammed suspected of leading Boko Haram fighter in a raid in the northern state of Kano, a military spokesman and security sources said (see – Kano 01.19.12).

Suleiman Mohammed was arrested on Friday along with his wife and five children, a security source involved in the raid in the Farawa neighbourhood of Kano, the largest city in the north, said. Friday’s arrest came hours after blasts and gunfire rocked the restive city of Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, where the group, which calls for the adoption of Shariaa law, is based (see also – Maiduguri 06.26.11).
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“We had an operation this morning … at a Boko Haram hideout [in Kano]. We made some arrests but details will be given later,” Lieutenant Iweha Ikedichi, a military spokesman for Kano, told the AFP news agency.

Suleiman Mohammed has been described as Boko Haram’s head of operations in Kano under the group’s suspected leader, Abubakar Shekau.

According to the security source, Mohammed claimed to be from Oyo state in southwestern Nigeria, although Boko Haram members tend to come from the country’s mainly Muslim north. “We recovered three pistols, a rifle, 1,000 rounds of ammunition and 10 IEDs [improvised explosive devices],” the source said, adding that the house was destroyed after the raid.

Police also reported that a bomb was thrown on Friday by a man on a motorcycle, exploding without causing injuries in the eastern state of Taraba, where a suicide attack targeting a senior police officer’s convoy killed 11 people on April 30. Residents said the explosion occurred near a church, a bank and a brothel in Jalingo, the capital of Taraba. It exploded in an open area and the target was unclear, they said.

Boko Haram opposes Western-style education and wants Nigeria, which is roughly divided between the predominantly Muslim north and Christian south, to adopt Shariaa law throughout the country.

The state of Kano has witnessed the worst attacks by Boko Haram, mainly bombings and shootings. At least 185 were killed in January in Kano while an estimated 1,000 has been killed in the group’s campaign since mid-2009.

A security official told AFP attacks in Maiduguri happened near a church in an area where a mosque owned by Boko Haram was razed during a 2009 crackdown on the group.

38 people have been killed and others injured after a car-bomb attack struck a commercial area in the town of Kaduna in northern Nigeria, on 04/08/2012. Just recently, on 05/03/2012, about 100 people have been killed by armed men after an attack on a cattle market in Northeastern Nigeria, in the city of Potiskum, an emergency source said, both bloody attacks were attributed to Boko Haram.
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