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Nigeria Arrests Islamist Group Leader

  • VOA News

FILE - An image grabbed on December 24, 2012, a video released by Jama'atu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladis Sudan, the radical Islamist group known as Ansaru, reportedly shows unidentified members of the group speaking in an undisclosed place in November 2012.

FILE - An image grabbed on December 24, 2012, a video released by Jama'atu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladis Sudan, the radical Islamist group known as Ansaru, reportedly shows unidentified members of the group speaking in an undisclosed place in November 2012.

Nigeria's army says it has arrested the leader of the Islamist militant group Ansaru, a breakaway faction of Boko Haram.

Ministry of Defense spokesman Rabe Abubakar says Khalid al-Barnawi was arrested in the central city of Lokoja on Friday.

The U.S. government has offered a $5 million reward for al-Barnawi since 2012.

Ansaru emerged as a separate group from Boko Haram that year. Both groups aim to establish an Islamic state in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria.

The United States accused Ansaru of kidnapping and killing several foreign workers in Nigeria and killing Nigerian police officers during a 2012 attack on an Abuja police station.

It also said Ansaru has close ties to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, and designated Ansaru as a terrorist group in November 2013.

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