Nigeria arrests 200 after attacks

2012-01-26 11:03

Kano - Nigeria has made about 200 arrests after last week's bombings and shootings in the city of Kano, with most of those detained Chadian "mercenaries", a senior police source said on Thursday.

"Many arrests have been made since the attacks," the police source said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly following Friday's attacks that killed at least 185 people.

"We have arrested around 200 attackers and 80% of them are Chadians. They came in as mercenaries."

The source alleged there had been indications the Chadians were paid to participate in the attacks attributed to Islamist group Boko Haram.

However, Nigerian authorities have come under immense pressure over the spiralling violence blamed on the Islamists and have in the past been accused of rounding up innocent civilians in response to attacks.

According to the source, suspected members of Boko Haram have reached out to the police for potential dialogue, with the emir of Kano as mediator. The emir is the most important traditional leader in Kano.

"They said they want the emir to mediate in the dialogue they proposed," the source said.