Nigerian police claim arrest of Boko Haram Islamist
5/21/2012 9:00:01 PM -
LAGOS (AFP) - A Nigerian man said Monday that he helped carry out deadly attacks on April 29 at a university church service and admitted belonging to Islamist group Boko Haram in his confession to police.
Police in the northern state of Kano presented Augustine Effiong to journalists Monday following his arrest on Friday for attempted murder.
According to a police statement, the 25-year-old, also known as Abubakar Garba, said he was converted to Islam by former Boko Haram chief Mohammed Yusuf, who was killed by security forces in 2009.
"He confessed to have participated in a series of attacks, killing of policemen and military personnel in the state (Kano), including the recent attack and killings in Bayero University Kano (BUK)," police said.
Attackers with bombs and guns opened fire at church services at BUK last month and killed around 20 people as worshippers tried to flee.
"I was involved in the attack at BUK," he told reporters in Hausa, the dominant language of northern Nigeria.
He further confessed to being part of a "20-man killer squad" charged with targeting the security services around Kano, Nigeria's second largest city and the key hub in the mainly Muslim north.
Boko Haram has repeatedly targeted the security services in Kano and has claimed attacks that have killed more than 1,000 people since mid-2009.
"I killed many people, including five soldiers at checkpoints," in Kano, Effiong said.
Rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have repeatedly accused Nigerian security forces of massive rights violations, including while interrogating suspects.
In February, Nigeria's police chief Mohammed Abubakar, acknowleged that the force had previously tortured suspects, in some of the frankest ever admissions by a top police leader.