Kabiru Sokoto, the alleged mastermind of a deadly Christmas day church bombing in Nigeria that killed at least 44 people, has been recaptured in the eastern state of Taraba.
He is accused of being a member of Nigeria’s radical Islamist sect Boko Haram, which claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on worshippers leaving a Catholic church in Madalla on the outskirts of the capital, Abuja, on December 25.
Sokoto escaped police custody last month a day after being arrested, leading to public outrage and the firing of the country’s top police official. Some suspected collusion between security officials and Boko Haram, the BBC reported.
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A security source told the Agence France Presse that Sokoto “was re-arrested this morning at Mutum Biu in Taraba State” and was “being flown to Abuja now by the Nigerian air force.”
According to the Associated Press, officers from the State Security Service and soldiers raided a Mutum Biyu home early Friday morning, where they found Sokoto hiding behind a rack of drying laundry.
Boko Haram, whose name means “western education is forbidden,” wants to establish Sharia law across Nigeria. The group has been blamed for the deaths of hundreds in bomb and gun attacks in northern Nigeria, including coordinated attacks in the country’s second-biggest city of Kano on January 20 which left at least 185 dead.
On Wednesday the group claimed responsibility for attacks on army and air force bases near the northern city of Kaduna the previous day.
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