Nigeria Arrests Senior Boko Haram Militant Chief, Military Says

Nigerian security forces arrested a top commander in the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, a military spokesman said.

Mohammed Zangina was arrested in Maiduguri, Borno state capital, Sagir Musa, a spokesman for the army and police Joint Task Force said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. Zangina, who’s also referred to as Alhaji Musa, was in the city to plan attacks against civilians and security personnel, according to the statement.

Zangina, the group’s leader of the north-central part of Nigeria, “is a key member of the Shura Committee of the Boko Haram terrorists,” Musa said in the statement. “He is also among those declared wanted and a bounty of 25 million naira was placed on him.”

Boko Haram is waging a violent campaign to impose strict Islamic law on Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer. It began its insurgency after its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, died while in police custody in 2009. Since then the group has carried out attacks in the mainly Muslim north and the capital, Abuja, that have killed more than 1,500 people, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Zangina had coordinated most of the suicide attacks and bombings in Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Jos and Potiskum, according to Sagir Musa’s statement.

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