Authorities in Niger have arrested 160 suspected Boko Haram militants allegedly involved in deadly attacks near Nigeria’s border, a national police spokesman said Tuesday.
According to a CNN report, the arrests happened over the last two days in Niger’s Diffa region, which borders Nigeria. Those taken into custody include Kaka Bunu, who police spokesman Adil Doro said was “involved in the recruitment of (Boko Haram) members.”
Some of the suspects fled south, only to be arrested while on the run or in “their hiding places,” said Yakubu Sumana Gawo, the governor of Niger’s Diffa region.
Members of the Nigerien police’s anti-terrorism unit are interrogating the suspects, who are all Niger citizens.
In another development, Cameroon is holding hundreds of suspected Boko Haram militants in prisons in its Far North Region.
Two Cameroon security sources said more than 1,000 alleged terrorists are in custody in the central prison in the town of Maroua. Col. Joseph Nouma, commander of Cameroon’s special military operation targeting terrorists, offered a more conservative number of more than 600 detained.
Nouma said his forces squared off Monday with Boko Haram fighters and beat them decisively.
The battle in Gnam-Gnam, which is 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Nigerian border, began when Cameroonian soldiers on a reconnaissance mission “were ambushed by the terrorists,” the Cameroonian colonel said.
It ended a few hours later with at least 100 militants and five Cameroonian soldiers dead, according to Nouma. He said Cameroonian troops also seized an armored vehicle, two machine guns and a large amount of ammunition.