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Niger arrests Boko Haram-affiliated suspects

15 February 2015 17:24

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Niger says it has arrested several dozen people suspected of being affiliated with the Takfiri Boko Haram terrorist group.

“In the region of Zinder, we have a few dozen people whom we arrested for checking. They are suspects,” said Kalla Moutari, a local governor, on Sunday.

Nigerien forces arrested the suspects over the past week at the security checkpoints that they have set up “to intercept those who had infiltrated the displaced people,” Moutari said.

The official added that the individuals arrested have been delivered to an “anti-terrorist unit” in Niger’s capital city of Niamey.

Boko Haram, which is mainly based in northeastern Nigeria, has recently carried out deadly attacks in the neighboring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger, killing tens of people and leaving thousands homeless.

Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” says its goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government.

It has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly shooting attacks and bombings in various parts of Nigeria since the beginning of its operations in 2009, which have left more than 10,000 people dead so far.

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nearly 650,000 Nigerians have fled their homes due to the Boko Haram violence and are displaced inside the African country, while thousands of others have taken refuge in neighboring countries.

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