Update: Boko Haram leader killed, others arrested, says security agents

Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram leader

Security operatives carried out a successful raid against the sect’s leaders in Kano.

In what appears a major victory against the Boko Haram militant group, Nigerian security operatives say they killed Abu Qaqa, the sect’s spokesman, and arrested two top commanders early Monday in the Mariri neighbourhood of Kano after a shoot out which left at least one of the sect leaders dead.

Sources in the State Security Service, SSS, say Abu Qaqa, the sect’s spokesman was killed, and the two top commanders were arrested when officers of the Kano State Joint Task Force, JTF, opened fire on the Volkswagon Golf car leaders of the sect were travelling in. They had refused orders to stop for a search, according to spokesman for the Joint Task Force in Kano, Ikediche Iweha.

Mr. Iweha confirmed the arrest but offered no insight on the identity of a lady that eye witnesses claimed was one of the arrested sect members. He also did not comment on the alleged fatality of two leaders in the car as some international news agencies have claimed.

It had been an unusual quiet for the better part of Monday from the public enlightenment unit of the sect headed by Mr. Qaqa, fueling early speculations that he had indeed been killed. Efforts by PREMIUM TIMES to reach the sect through its usual platform returned no response, breaking a pattern of its media engagement strategy.

Spokesperson for the SSS, Marilyn Ogar, refused to comment on the arrests or the incident.

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