from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE Nigeria military has arrested over 100 suspects and freed more than 20 hostages during a sustained crackdown against the Boko Haram, armed bandits and illegal miners in recent days.
During the operation that produced the most arrests, 98 suspects were arrested during a joint operation at an illegal mining site in the country’s biggest state of Nigeria, in the central region.
Some 12 suspects accused of supplying logistics to the Boko Haram terror group were arrested.
This includes a driver and seven occupants in his vehicle, who have been arrested in the northeastern Borno State.
The suspects, who are believed to be immigrants from a neighbouring country, are feared to have links with the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP).
Some 26 civilians have been rescued during the operations around the country.
One operation led to the army rescuing 16 victims, comprising of 11 women and five children, all from Niger State.
Some vehicles were confiscated, including a truck conveying 800 bags of fertiliser, which the army believes were destined for use by terrorists in making improvised explosives.
Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, Nigerian Army spokesman, said troops were intensifying crackdowns ahead of the festive season.
“With the 2019 yuletide season fast approaching, the army has stepped up the tempo of its operations across the country,” he said.
With more than 190 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and has a reputation for being one of the most volatile.
– CAJ News