- West Africa
- Religion - Terrorism - Security
Nigeria: Military seizes weapons from Islamist militia
Nigerian military has impounded an arsenal of Kalashnikov rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, explosives, hand grenades and a large quantity of ammunition from suspected members of extreme Islamist group Boko Haram. Boko Haram has lunched intermittent attacks against Christians and democratic institutions across Nigeria.
The confiscation took place after the extremist militia engaged soldiers of the Nigerian military in a shootout. Nigerian soldiers reportedly killed three gunmen in the shootout and uncovered the store of weapons.
"Three gunmen driving towards Maiduguri from the border town of Gamboru Ngala opened fire on a military patrol team which responded and a shootout followed in which all the three gunmen were killed," Brigadier-General Tanko Yusuf Gaya said.
Miles away from the site of the shootout another hoard of weapons were found in a car in a village.
"We are yet to ascertain the source of the weapons, their destination or what they were intended for," Gaya said, adding he believed they had been abandoned because the suspects wanted to avoid being arrested.
The weapons are suspected to belong to Boko Haram a group that been blamed for a series of attacks and hit-and-run shootings in northern Nigeria in recent months that have left dozens dead.
The group began a rebellion against democratic institutions and Christians in Nigeria in 2009.
The Nigerian government put down the rebellion through military force- an assault that left hundreds dead.
Boko Haram, which includes members who come from neighboring Chad, is said to not only oppose Western education, but Western culture as well. The group also seeks to install Sharia Law across Nigeria.