Lagos (dpa) - Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram is expanding its network across Nigeria, the country's secret police said Monday, after it arrested 20 senior members in various locations.
The arrests took place over the past eight weeks in the northern Gombe and Kano States, but also in central Plateau State, and southern Lagos and Enugu States, according to department of state services spokesperson Tony Opuiyo.
Among those arrested was Usman Shuaibu, who helped to orchestrate recent suicide bombings in Nigeria's north-east and is directly linked to the group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, said Opuiyo.
The department of state services also detained one of Boko Haram's bomb experts, Ahmed Mohamamed.
Boko Haram, which seeks to establish a state with its very strict interpretation of Islamic law, killed an estimated 14 000 people since 2009.
Until now, the attacks have mainly taken place in the north-east, with sporadic bombings in central Nigeria.