Nigeria’s Military Says It Arrested Boko Haram ’Kingpins’

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Nigeria’s military said its forces arrested “kingpins” from the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

Army troops found “terrorists with hard drugs and other stimulants,” on Wednesday, Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters said in a post on its Twitter account, without elaborating.

Boko Haram’s six-year insurgency to establish a strict version of Islamic law in Africa’s largest economy has left thousands of people dead and its cross-border attacks have drawn Cameroon, Niger and Chad into a regional military campaign.

In Nigeria’s Yobe state capital, Damaturu, 16 suspected militants captured from around the region were paraded through a military base on Wednesday, said Colonel Dahiru Bako, an acting commander. Some of those detained are suspected of carrying out attacks while others were distributing supplies for the group. The military seized items from them that included food, cannabis, cigarettes, fuels and fertilizers that can be used to make improvised explosive devices, he said.

In Borno state, which is also in northeast Nigeria at the center of the insurgency, the government released 128 suspected Boko Haram members after they were screened and deemed to no longer be a threat, said state Governor Alhaji Kashim Shettima.

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