Nigeria Islamist group leader ‘caught’

An image from a video released by Jama'tu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan, the Islamist group known as Ansaru, which reportedly shows unidentified members of the group speaking in an undisclosed place in November 2012Image copyright

Image caption

Ansaru is known for kidnapping foreigners

The leader of al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group Ansaru has been arrested in Nigeria, authorities there say.

A military spokesman said Khalid al-Barnawi was captured in Lokoja, capital of the central state of Kogi.

The US had placed a $5m (£3.5m) 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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