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Nigerian Army Says It Has Arrested Leader of Boko Haram Offshoot Ansaru

The leader of al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group Ansaru has been arrested by the Nigerian Army, BBC News reports.

He was detained by army forces in the city of Lokoja on Friday, Nigerian military spokesman Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar said Sunday.

The US had placed a $5m bounty on his head after branding him one of three Nigerian “specially designated global terrorists” in 2012.

Ansaru is a splinter group of Nigeria’s largest jihadist group, Boko Haram, known for kidnapping foreigners.

Ideologically aligned to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, it is also accused of killing a number of Westerners.

Ansaru said it carried out an attack on a maximum security prison in the Nigerian capital Abuja in 2012, freeing dozens of inmates.

“Security agents made a breakthrough on Friday in the fight against terrorism by arresting Khalid al-Barnawi, the leader of Ansaru terrorist group in Lokoja,” military spokesman Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar said.

“He is among those on top of the list of our wanted terrorists.”

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