Officials sceptical as Boko Haram sect says it was behind Christmas Eve attacks that killed at least 38 people.
At least 80 people were killed on Christmas Eve in the central city of Jos, an attack Boko Haram had claimed [AFP]
Nigerian police have arrested 92 suspected members of the Boko Haram group after sectarian attacks this week in the northeast the country.
A police spokesman said on Friday that Boko Haram, which is said to oppose Western education and culture, was behind the deaths of at least 16 people in three attacks this week in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.
“The police in Borno have arrested 92 suspected members of Boko Haram including their financiers and taken them to police force headquarters in Abuja for interrogation and prosecution,” police spokesman Abubaker Abdullahi said.
The group also claimed responsibility for bombings on Christmas Eve in the central Nigerian city of Jos, which killed at least 80 people and left more than 100 injured.
Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian president, hopes that the police crackdown boosts security as he campaigns in primary elections in January, which are set to be the most fiercely contested in more than a decade.
Hundreds of people died in clashes at the start of the year in the so-called “Middle Belt”, the central Nigerian regions where the mostly Muslim north meets the predominantly Christian south.
The tension is rooted in decades of resentment between indigenous groups, who are vying for control of fertile farmlands and for economic and political power with migrants and settlers from the north.
Nigeria is due to hold a presidential election on April 9, parliamentary elections on April 2 and voters will elect governors in the country’s 36 states to round off the process on April 16.