International

Nigeria Arrests Alleged Mercenaries In Kano Bombing Investigation

Women pass a market in Kano, Nigeria, destroyed by Boko Haram militants on Jan. 20. i i

Women pass a market in Kano, Nigeria, destroyed by Boko Haram militants on Jan. 20. Sunday Alamba/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Sunday Alamba/AP
Women pass a market in Kano, Nigeria, destroyed by Boko Haram militants on Jan. 20.

Women pass a market in Kano, Nigeria, destroyed by Boko Haram militants on Jan. 20.

Sunday Alamba/AP

Nigerian police arrested at least 160 alleged mercenaries from neighboring Chad today, accusing them of participating in the bloody bomb and gun attacks on the northern Nigerian city of Kano last Friday that killed between 150 and 200 people. The Islamist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility.

Nigeria wants to know if Boko Haram has training camps in Chad, according to Bloomberg. While it's possible Chadian mercenaries were involved in the Kano attacks, some experts think it unlikely that all the fighters were foreign. Analyst Sebastian Boe told Bloomberg: "While the participation of a number of Chadians is certainly plausible, I very much doubt that Boko Haram recruited 160 of them for the operation."

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton told Morning Edition today that Boko Haram started as a homegrown Nigerian group that attacked Nigerian institutions; now it has expanded its threat to religious targets, including deadly attacks on Christians.

A German engineer was kidnapped at gunpoint at a Kano construction site today, while a bomb went off in a city bus station in a neighborhood populated by Nigerian Christians, according to Reuters. Five people were hurt.

And a man claiming to be a Boko Haram leader issued an internet video threatening more attacks on schools and universities unless the Nigerian government stops mistreating Muslims, says AFP.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.