Abuja - Nigerian troops have arrested the suspected mastermind of bombings in the central cities of Jos and Zaria this week that killed at least 69 people, the defence ministry said on Thursday.
No one has taken responsibility for the attacks but they bore the hallmarks of Islamist sect Boko Haram, which has been waging a six-year insurgency in Africa's largest oil producer.
“The highly placed terrorist was arrested with two others who were in his company. One of them was however shot while trying to escape,” the defence ministry said.
The suspect was picked up at a checkpoint in the north-east city of Gombe, on the fringes of Boko Haram's north-east stronghold, it added.