Don't miss




Apology accepted? Facebook's European charm offensive

Read more


Trade truce: US-China tensions cool, but is a trade war still possible?

Read more


Viva Technology conference opens in Paris as Macron seeks French dominance

Read more


Does the NFL's new ultimatum on kneeling pander to Donald Trump?

Read more


What's in a name? France moves to protect regional term for chocolate croissant

Read more


Macron and Kagame meet to repair strained ties over Rwandan genocide

Read more


Remembering Philip Roth

Read more


Film show: 'Solo: A Star Wars Story', 'Angel Face' and 'Peeping Tom'

Read more


Iraq: Children of Fallujah try to rebuild their lives

Read more


Nigerian army makes arrests in schoolgirl abductions

© Afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-07-01

Nigeria's military said Monday it had raided a Boko Haram "intelligence cell" and arrested its leader, a businessman "who participated actively in the abduction of schoolgirls in Chibok", when 276 girls were taken from the town on April 14.

Of the 276 girls abducted, 57 managed to escape while 219 remain missing. The Islamists have since threatened to sell the girls.

“A terrorists’ intelligence cell headed by a businessman who participated actively in the abduction of schoolgirls in Chibok has been busted by troops,” the defense ministry statement said.

The businessman was identified as Babuji Ya'ari, who is also a member of the Civilian JTF (Joint Task Force), which worked alongside the military in fighting the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency.

Ya’ari used his position in the Civilian JTF as a cover “while remaining an active terrorist”, a defense ministry spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade, said in a statement.

Olukolade said information yielded by Ya’ari’s detention has already led to the arrests of two women also thought to be working for the Islamist group. Haj Kaka allegedly procured arms for the extremists while Hafsat Bako was described as a paymaster. Bako told authorities that Boko Haram operatives are paid a minimum of 10,000 naira (about $60) depending on the task, the statement said.

The military statement accused Ya'ari of not only spying for the Islamists but also planning the murder of the Emir of Gwoza in Borno state a month ago.

The military says Ya'ari also coordinated several of the attacks that have killed hundreds in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and birthplace of Boko Haram.

“Babuji has been coordinating several deadly attacks in Maiduguri since 2011, including the daring attacks on customs and military locations as well as the planting of IEDs (improvised explosive devices) in several locations,” the defense ministry statement said.

There has been no independent confirmation of the military's claims.

Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency are blamed for killing thousands since 2009 but the first half of this year has been the bloodiest, with more than 2,000 people killed.

An attack on churches Sunday near Chibok blamed on Boko Haram gunmen killed 54 people, an official has said. Militants hurled explosives into churches, torched buildings and fired on worshippers as they tried to flee, residents said.

In late May, Boko Haram militants killed at least 48 people in separate overnight attacks on three Nigerian villages just hours after two car bombs ripped through the central city of Jos, leaving more than 100 dead.

A week later Boko Haram militants killed at least 35 more people in attacks on three villages in Borno state, near the border with Cameroon.

The militants have also frequently targeted Nigerian police and military installations. An attack on an army base and an adjacent police barracks in the northeastern town of Buni Yadi on May 27 killed at least 25 security personnel.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)


Date created : 2014-07-01


    Suspected Islamists attack churches near Nigeria’s Chibok

    Read more


    Blast strikes shopping centre in Nigerian capital Abuja

    Read more

  • WORLD CUP 2014

    Boko Haram's war on the World Cup

    Read more