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Women pass a market in Kano, Nigeria, destroyed by Boko Haram militants on Jan. 20. (AP)

Nigeria Arrests Alleged Mercenaries In Kano Bombing Investigation

Jan 26, 2012

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Korva Coleman

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Nigerian police arrested at least 160 alleged mercenaries from neighboring Chad today, accusing them of participating in the bloody bomb and gun attacks on the northern Nigerian city of Kano last Friday that killed between 150 and 200 people. The Islamist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility.

Nigeria wants to know if Boko Haram has training camps in Chad, according to Bloomberg. While it's possible Chadian mercenaries were involved in the Kano attacks, some experts think it unlikely that all the fighters were foreign. Analyst Sebastian Boe told Bloomberg: "While the participation of a number of Chadians is certainly plausible, I very much doubt that Boko Haram recruited 160 of them for the operation."

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton told Morning Edition today that Boko Haram started as a homegrown Nigerian group that attacked Nigerian institutions; now it has expanded its threat to religious targets, including deadly attacks on Christians.

A German engineer was kidnapped at gunpoint at a Kano construction site today, while a bomb went off in a city bus station in a neighborhood populated by Nigerian Christians, according to Reuters. Five people were hurt.

And a man claiming to be a Boko Haram leader issued an internet video threatening more attacks on schools and universities unless the Nigerian government stops mistreating Muslims, says AFP.

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