(Reuters) – Nigerian authorities
arrested 11 suspected members of Islamist militant group Boko
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Haram overnight and seized automatic weapons, ammunition and
several homemade bombs, the military said on Wednesday.
Boko Haram is waging a low-level insurgency in the largely
Muslim north of Nigeria, aiming to revive an ancient Islamic
state caliphate in the modern nation of 160 million people,
split roughly evenly between Muslims and Christians.
The militants have claimed responsibility for the deaths of
hundreds of people since launching an uprising in 2009.
The men were arrested in the Waka-Biu region of Borno state,
spokesman for Borno’s military and police Joint Task Force
(JTF), Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, said.
They recovered a submachinegun, seven AK-47s, 1,568 rounds
of ammunition, 12 empty shells and 19 homemade bombs, he said.
Boko Haram, whose fighters usually target members of the
security forces, government offices and churches, started
attacking mobile phone installations last week, saying phone
companies were helping authorities to track them.