JTF kills Boko Haram kingpin & arrests 2 others

The Joint Military Task Force (JTF) Monday in Kano claimed to have killed a top member of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, and arrested two others, alleged to be commanders of the sect, in an early morning operation.

Spokesman of the JTF in Kano, Lieutenant Ikedichi Iweha, said the operation was carried out by the security personnel in Hotoro in the Kano metropolis.

Speaking to journalists, Iweha said: “Yes I can confirm to you the killing and the arrest of the two sect members,” adding that the military task force had carried out an operation in the early hours of Monday during which it killed one terrorist and arrested two others.

Lieutenant Iweha, who did not confirm the identity of those arrested, stated, “I cannot confirm to you the identity of those arrested because I don’t have the nominal roll of the sect,” but he added that the operation was still ongoing.

However, it was gathered that the sect member that was killed and two others who were arrested were among the topmost wanted members of Boko Haram by the security agencies.

There were speculations in Kano that the sect’s spokesman, Abu Qaqa, a nom de guerre used by the spokesmen of the sect, was alleged to have been killed, while other sources revealed that among those arrested included a woman, who was alleged to have been close to members of the sect.

According to sources, the JTF soldiers stopped a vehicle with the sect spokesman, the commander, the spokesman’s wife and their children.

It is unclear what happened next, but sources claimed the soldiers shot dead the spokesman, while the wife and children remain in military custody.

A source said some of the people in the car informed the military that the person shot was Qaqa, the man who signs emails sent to the media on behalf of the group.

Boko Haram, however, has not confirmed that Qaqa has been killed.

The reluctance by the JTF spokesman to reveal the identities of those who were killed and arrested may stem from the need to prevent the embarrassment that could arise should the sect refute the killing and arrest of its key members.

The military had previously claimed to have arrested Qaqa but this was denied by Boko Haram, who said the wrong man had been detained.

Security sources disclosed that the non-disclosure of the identities of the alleged Boko Haram members is part of a new offensive adopted by JTF to hide the identity of sect members that are killed or arrested.