Two Muslim community leaders have been abducted by suspected members of Islamist extremist sect Boko Haram in Nigeria’s northern Borno State, local newspaper Leadership reported on Friday.
The emir of the town of Uba, Ismaila Mamza, and the emir of the town of Gwoza, Idrisa Timta, were kidnapped by gunmen on Friday morning near the town of Shaffa, according to a State Services department official.
Meanwhile, police in Borno have arrested an alleged Boko Haram bomb expert believed to be responsible for recent explosions that killed hundreds of people.
The man, whose name was not published, confessed his involvement in three major bomb attacks - in the capital, Abuja, and the central city of Jos, newspaper Premium Times reported a military source as saying.
At least 75 people were killed by a blast at a bus terminal in Abuja’s Nyanya neighbourhood on April 14. Two weeks later, a second bombing in Nyanya killed 19 people.
On May 20, two blasts at Jos’ main market killed about 200 people.
The bomb expert was arrested by soldiers at a checkpoint near Bama in northern Borno State because he was carrying “sophisticated communication gadgets, a map, a very expensive laptop and 30 pieces of Flash-Drives,” according to the military official.
He was on route to Sambisa forest, which is believed to be a regular hiding spot for Boko Haram members.
The announcement comes a day after President Goodluck Jonathan pledged to use all available means to ward off the threat of terrorism and announced an amnesty for Boko Haram members who abandon arms.
Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sinful,” has killed more than 1,000 people in weekly attacks in northern and central Nigeria this year alone.