By Mustapha Buhari, Maiduguri
Nigerian Army has announced the arrest of a suspected Boko Haram terrorist who specialised in sneaking in underage suicide bombers into Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
There is prevalence of underage suicide bombing in Borno State recently, with public places and worship centres being the target of attacks.
Addressing journalists in Maiduguri on Thursday, the theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Leo Irabor, said the troops made a number of arrests during recent operations.
“In Shehuri area, a suspect who sneaks in suicide bombers into Maiduguri was arrested.
“One Ayuba who claimed to be a Malian was arrested at Dikwa, while eight other suspects were also arrested.
“In Dikwa, a 56-year-old Boko Haram Amir was arrested. One Abur was also nabbed at military checkpoint in Munguno. He engaged in the supply of food and fuel to Boko Haram.
“Seven cattle rustlers were arrested in Monguno, while 34 cows were recovered from them,” he added.
According to him, 3,332 suspected Boko Haram members are currently under screening to ascertain if they are indeed members of the group.
He said among them are 17 Chadians and nine Nigeriens, noting that the Chadians were arrested in Damasak.
Mr Irabor also said Boko Haram attacked troops at Kamuyya village along Bunu Yadi-Biu, killing four soldiers, while on Bita-Gwoza road, a soldier died when a military vehicle ran into an improvised explosive device.
He also told journalists that four insurgents surrendered in Monguno.
The theater commander also paraded a repentant Boko Haram member, a 31-year-old Mohammed Abubakar, whose left leg and right hand were amputated for attempting to flee from Sambisa forest and surrender to troops.
In a brief interview with journalists, the amputee said: “I once told my friend Hassan Danguduma we had to flee and surrender because our activities are unIslamic, he pretended as if he supported the idea, but leaked the secret to our Amir.
“So they amputated my left leg and right hand from the wrist. But I managed to escape after spending two years with them.
“I was abducted from Wulgo Hausari village of Gamborou Ngala local government but for fear of being killed, I joined the group. I’m loyal to Mamman Nur-led faction,” he added.