Nigeria: Islamists' explosives 'supplier' held

2012-05-03 07:36

Kano - Nigerian police have arrested a man who allegedly acted as an explosives supplier to Islamist group Boko Haram, authorities announced Wednesday, after a fresh upsurge in attacks.

Ayuba Usman was arrested on Tuesday at his shop in a market in the city of Kano following information from suspected Boko Haram members arrested in raids, secret police chief for Kano state Nelson Eteng told reporters.

"Based on statements by high profile suspects ... Ayuba Usman has been providing combustible chemicals used in the manufacture of IEDs [improvised explosive devices] for attacks on innocent people in the city," Eteng said.

"The suspect is found to be linked with extremist elements."

The secret police displayed 35 drums of chemicals of 240 litres each and a dozen bags of combustible items said to be recovered during the raid on the suspect's shop.

On Sunday, gunmen attacked two Christian church services at Bayero University in the city, throwing homemade bombs and opening fire on worshippers as they sought to flee, leaving at least 19 people dead.

A high-calibre time-bomb was also discovered at another of the university's campuses in Kano and defused by a bomb squad, police said.

Dozens of IEDs were recovered on Tuesday in a military raid on an alleged Boko Haram hideout in the city which left one suspected militant dead.

Also on Tuesday, a video on YouTube purportedly from Boko Haram showed footage of last week's attack on a Nigerian newspaper and threatened news outlets, including two foreign organisations.