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Article updated: 9/6/2011 8:14 AM

Nigeria arrests six alleged Boko haram members over bombings

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By Bloomberg News

Nigeria's State Security Service said it arrested six members of the Boko Haram group in connection with two bombings that killed 15 people in Suleja, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the capital, Abuja.

The suspects, including a citizen of neighboring Niger, are also alleged to have killed four policemen on May 22 in Bwari, a suburb of the capital, Marilyn Ogar, a spokeswoman for the service, said in an e-mailed statement today. They will soon be charged, she said.

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"Investigation has indeed revealed that the suspects belong to the Boko Haram cell operating in the Suleja-Abuja axis, which is under the direction and control of a bloodthirsty Boko Haram leader who is now at large," Ogar said. The group is accused of involvement in the bombing of Suleja's electoral office on April 8, the eve of parliamentary voting, and another that killed three people at a church in the city July 10.

Nigerian authorities have blamed Boko Haram, a militant Islamic group that draws inspiration from Afghanistan's Taliban movement, for a wave of bomb attacks and killings since last year. The group claimed responsibility for the Aug. 26 suicide car-bomb attack on a United Nations building that killed 23 people and wounded 71 in Abuja.

--Editors: Heather Langan, Ben Holland

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja at ebalagbogbobloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzinbloomberg.net.

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