Nigerian troops have arrested three foreign nationals as part of the country’s arms smuggling crackdown, an official said late Monday.
Addressing reporters in northern Katsina, military spokesperson Benard Onyeuko said the three Nigerien nationals were suspected of supplying arms to criminals terrorizing the northwestern regions of Nigeria.
He said the three suspects were arrested in the Dantudu-Malailai district of Sabon-Birni in Sokoto state on Saturday.
According to Onyeuko, weapons seized from the suspects included six AK-47 rifles, three AK-47 rifle magazines, and 2,415 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition.
He added that one of the suspects, who was diabetic and suffered hypertension, died in the hospital after being arrested.
Violence from bandits has been affecting people living in the northwest part of Nigeria recently, leading to civilian deaths, cattle rustling and kidnapping for ransom.
Nigeria’s military is currently carrying out a number of operations to rid the region of illegal armed groups.