Owo Church attack: Military arrests two more suspects

Two more high profile members of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) linked with the deadly attack on worshippers in Owo, Ondo State have been arrested, the military disclosed on Thursday.

The suspects, Al-Qasim Idris and Abdulhaleem Idris, were apprehended at Omialafara (Omulafa) in Ose Council Area of Ondo State.

Bandits attacked the St.Francis Catholic during Sunday Mass on June 5, resulting in the death of about 30 worshippers.

The Director Defence Information, Major General Jimmy Akpor, in a statement, noted that one of the suspects, Abdulhaleem, alongside other high profile ISWAP Commanders “had also previously coordinated attacks on military targets in Okene, Okene LGA, Kogi State resulting in casualties”.

According to the statement: “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.

“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 four 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. 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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