Amnesty International said last month that the Boko Haram conflict had killed at least 1,600 people since the start of June in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon and called for more protection for civilians.
According to French newswire, Agence France-Presse, the death toll at more than 1,320 in Nigeria alone since Muhammadu Buhari became president on May 29.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for three suicide attacks in the satellite towns of Kuje and Nyanya outside Nigeria’s capital Abuja on October 2, which killed a total of 18 people and injured 41.
On Tuesday, Nigeria’s most senior police officer, Inspector General of Police Solomon Arase, said two people had been arrested on suspicion of masterminding the blasts.
The suspects’ identities were not disclosed but Arase said in a statement the arrests had “foiled another attempt… to undertake further attacks in the FCT (Federal Capital Territory)”.
Items recovered from the suspects included 12 “prepared and primed” home-made explosives concealed in soft drink cans, 28 electronic detonator parts and a “large quantity” of bomb-making equipment, he added.
Nigeria’s military has claimed a series of successes in recent months and has characterised the upsurge in attacks on civilian targets as desperation on the part of the Islamic State group-alled militants.
Attacks have also continued across the border. At the weekend, 41 people were killed and another 48 injured in triple explosions in Baga Sola, on the Chadian side of Lake Chad, where Nigeria meets Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
One targeted a fish market and two a refugee camp for those displaced by the violence, the report said.