Abuja — Arrests 3, recovers large cache of arms
Working on the theory that members of the violent Islamic sect Boko Haram might be planning attacks ahead of the forthcoming Eid- fitr (end of Ramadan fast) celebration, the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) and State Security Service (SSS) Saturday carried out pre-emptive attacks on some hide-outs of the sect members in Kano.
In the process, JTF discovered a bomb-making factory.
The force arrested at least three persons and also recovered 33 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) with over 739 rounds of ammunition.
A similar raid by the force in Maiduguri and Jere council areas of Borno State on Thursday had also led to the recovery of large arms and ammunition.
Kano State Director of SSS, Mr. Bassey Eteng, told journalists at the Third Brigade Headquarters, Nigerian Army in Kano, that three suspects were arrested in the raid carried out on Saturday morning.
Eteng said the operation of the JTF where members of the group were arrested led to the discovery of the bomb factory.
He said those arrested had confessed to be planning attacks towards the Eid -fitr celebration.
Items recovered from them include 12 improvised bombs, army uniforms, AK-47 riffles, sub-machine guns,10 electronic detonators, face masks and seven bags of urea.
"Most of the items recovered were going to be used to mount an attack on Sallah (Muslim holiday), according to our intelligence report," Eteng said.
"There was no casualty of any party during the operations. An investigation to find the terrorists continues," he said.
The security operatives also discovered another bomb-making factory at a village in Tundun Bayero by Gada Tamburawa in Dawakin Kudun local government area.
Briefing newsmen at the JTF Headquarters along Pompomari By- pass in Maiduguri, the Field Operations Commander, Colonel Victor Ebheleme, on Thursday thanked residents of the area for cooperating with the security agencies in providing information on the hideouts of the sect members.
Ebheleme said the information provided by some residents on the hideouts of some suspected members of the sect enabled the force JTF to swing into action.
He said JTF also arrested some members and after interrogation, the suspects revealed the house of their suspected sponsor, who is now at large.
During the JTF search of the house, four AK47 rifles, one set of GpMG, nine RPG Bombs and 11 chargers were said to have been recovered.
He added that other weapons recovered from the house included 1,032 rounds of ammunition, three AK47 Magazines and three wooden butts.
Also, the JTF Field Commander said two persons said to be involved in sending anonymous threats through text messages to individuals requesting for money were also arrested in Maiduguri.
The onslaught in the North by JTF appears to have weakened the group, which has killed and maimed many in the insurgency launched across the Northern region.
As Boko Haram comes under pressure in its Northeastern heartland, its attacks have spread further afield. Suspected Islamists opened fire on Christian worshippers in the central state of Kogi on Monday, killing 19.