Nigerian soldiers say troops have killed a man suspected of being a spokesman for the Islamist sect Boko Haram and arrested two of its field commanders.
A soldier who participated Monday in the operation in the northern part of the country told VOA that troops, acting on a tip, stopped a car at a checkpoint and killed the spokesman who used the alias Abul Qaqa. However, there has been no official confirmation.
In March, Nigerian authorities claimed to have captured Abul Qaqa, but it turned out to be another member of the sect.
Boko Haram has been blamed for more than 1,400 deaths in Nigeria's central and northern regions, with statements issued to journalists on behalf of the group in the name of Abul Qaqa.
Gunmen associated with the sect have frequently carried out guerrilla attacks, including the killing of a family of four at point-blank range Sunday after they were herded into a room, and another group of six that was killed in front of their home.
Boko Haram has clashed frequently with the Nigerian central government. Its name means "Western education is sacrilege," and its adherents have advocated use of strict Sharia law across Nigeria.