Church bombing suspect arrested in Nigeria

Last Updated: Friday, February 10, 2012 - 23:01

Abuja: Nigerian secret police on Friday arrested
a suspected member of a radical Islamist sect who is accused
of masterminding a church bombing on Christmas Day last year
that killed at least 44 people.

Kabiru Sokoto, a prime suspect in the bomb blast
targeting St. Theresa Catholic Church in Nigeria`s northern
town of Madala in Niger state was re-arrested by State
Security Service (SSS), few weeks after he escaped from
security agents’ detention.

"He was arrested in his native Taraba state which is near
Cameroun`s border and will soon be brought to Abuja,"
presidential spokesman Reuben Abati said.

Sokoto, a suspected member of Boko Haram, is accused of
throwing a bomb that killed more than 30 people in the church
attack. He had escaped from police custody a day after his
arrest.

It had compelled President Goodluck Jonathan to issue a
query to the then Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim
who was later sacked.

Members of the SSS, who refused to make public statements
to the press, confirmed the arrest.

However, an official on condition of anonymity said
Sokoto was arrested at this homestead and will not be able to
escape a second time.

Boko Haram sect, which wants to install an Islamic
government and enforce Sharia law, has been waging a war with
the government.

Muslims and Christians constitute about half of Nigeria`s
150 million population.

The radical organisation also claimed responsibility for
several bombings and shootings in the north and capital city
of Abuja.

A suicide bomb attack by the group at the United Nations
headquarters in July killed 26 persons and injured more than
70.

Coordinated attacks in Kano last month left more than 185
persons dead including an Indian from Gujarat.

The sect`s leader, Muhammed Yusuf was killed in 2006
during an insurrection which claimed more than 800 lives.

PTI



First Published: Friday, February 10, 2012 - 23:01

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