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DHQ: Two additional ISWAP fighters linked to Owo church attack arrested

DHQ: Two additional ISWAP fighters linked to Owo church attack arrested
August 11
08:59 2022

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says two additional fighters of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), who are behind the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo state, have been arrested.

On June 5, gunmen attacked the church, killing over 40 people.

On June 9, Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, said the attack was orchestrated by ISWAP — a claim that was countered by Rotimi Akeredolu.

On Tuesday, Lucky Irabor, chief of defence staff, announced that the gunmen behind the attack on the church have been arrested.

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Giving details on the arrest, Akeredolu said five suspects have been arrested, including the person who accommodated the gunmen before the attack.

On Thursday, DHQ in a statement by Jimmy Akpor, director of defence information, said the two suspected ISWAP fighters were arrested through the collaborative effort of the military and the DSS.

“Recall that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, during his parley with media executives and editors yesterday, Tuesday 9 August 2022, informed of the arrest of 4 terrorists among those who carried out the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo on 5 June 2022,” Akpor said.

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“They were arrested through a combined operation by military and DSS personnel at Eika, Okehi LGA, Kogi State on 1 August 2022.

“Those arrested include Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Otohu Abubakar, Aliyu Yusuf Itopa and Auwal Ishaq Onimisi.

“Barely few hours after the disclosure by the CDS of the arrest of 4 of the Owo Catholic Church attackers, 2 additional ISWAP terrorists, who were also connected to the attack on the church were apprehended at Omialafara (Omulafa), Ose LGA, Ondo State yesterday, 9 August 2022.

“The arrests were made through the collaborative effort by military and DSS personnel. The suspects are Al-Qasim Idris and Abdulhaleem Idris.

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“It is instructive to note that Abdulhaleem, alongside other high profile ISWAP commanders, had also previously coordinated attacks on military targets in Okene, Okene LGA, Kogi State resulting in casualties.”

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