Home » Armed Forces, Boko Haram, Latest Politics » Army raids Boko Haram hideouts in Kaduna, arrests 65

Army raids Boko Haram hideouts in Kaduna, arrests 65

March 30, 2012  by Agency Reporter 230 Comments

Nigerian Army has arrested no fewer than 65 suspects in Kaduna between Wednesday and Thursday in a renewed onslaught against the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram.

While the soldiers arrested 33 suspected sect’s members on Wednesday at the Barnawa Complex of the city, 32 more suspects were picked up on Thursday in different parts of Kaduna metropolis.

Among those arrested, THE PUNCH learnt, were 19 nationals of Niger Republic while a vendor and a fried meat (suya) seller were equally rounded up.

Our correspondents learnt that the soldiers were acting under the instruction of the Army Headquarters to carry out the raids.

When contacted, Defence spokesman, Col Mohammed Yerima, said he was not aware of the development.

“I am not aware of it,” he said on Thursday.

However, a source said the 65 arrested suspects were picked up at different locations in Kaduna town, but added that it was premature to categorise those arrested as Boko Haram members.

It was learnt that the suspects were being detained in separate guardrooms in a military facility in Kaduna.

The source said, “About 65 of them are in custody; after interrogation, we shall be able to establish which of them are Boko Haram members.”

Some residents of the areas, where the suspects were picked up have, however, faulted the arrests, claiming that most of those arrested were not Boko Haram members.

A petty trader in the area simply called Babangida, claimed that the people arrested were not Boko Haram members.

He said, “The soldiers just came to our area without any excuse or reason for arresting those people. They started molesting people who were doing their lawful business and others who come here regularly to buy Suya and other foods.”

He explained that when he went to 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army with some family members of those arrested to know the reasons for the arrests, they were told that the order to arrest them was from Army Headquarters, Abuja.

Also, on Thursday, the District Head (Hakimi) of Barnawa, Kaduna, Alhaji Kabiru Zubairu, faulted the claim of the soldiers, describing those arrested as “innocent”.

He said, “But I am telling you categorically that my people are law abiding citizens and I can vouch for them that they are innocent of the allegations levelled against them.”

Meanwhile, three people were shot dead and five others wounded on Thursday when a soldier attached to the Special Task Force opened fire on a crowd at Tudun Wada area of Jos.

Our correspondent learnt that when a dispute arose between family at about 5.00pm, one of the brothers, identified as Pankis Yusuf, invited the soldier to intervene. On getting to the house where many of their neighbours to the family had gathered, the policeman allegedly opened fire on the crowd.

-Punch

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