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Nigeria Captures Militant Linked to Christmas Day Bombing

Nigerian authorities arrested an Islamist militant linked to the Christmas Day bombing of a church outside the capital, Abuja, that killed 43 people and wounded 73, a spokeswoman for the State Security Service said.

Kabiru Abubakar Dikko, also known as Kabiru Sokoto and Kabiru Umar, was arrested in the northeastern state of Taraba, Marilyn Ogar, a spokeswomen for the security service, told reporters today in Abuja. Dikko had escaped from police custody on Jan. 16, two days after his arrest.

“Kabiru was picked up from where he was hiding at the residence of an accomplice,” Ogar said.

The Dec. 25 attack on the church in Madalla town, near Abuja, was claimed by the Islamist group Boko Haram. President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration blames the group, whose name means “Western education is a sin,” for a series of attacks targeting government buildings, security forces and churches in the mainly Muslim north and Abuja over the past year.

The group claimed responsibility for bomb and gun attacks in the northern city of Kano on Jan. 20 killed 256 people, according to the Civil Rights Congress, a rights group that participated in the rescue of victims.

Jonathan fired his police chief, Hafiz Ringim, after Dikko’s escape. The activities of Boko Haram pose a worse threat to the country than the 1967-1970 Biafra civil war, Jonathan said on Jan. 8.

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