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Soldiers invade Daily Trust offices, arrest journalists

Armed soldiers on Sunday invaded the Daily Trust headquarters in Jabi area of Abuja, taking away computers, laptops and other properties from the newsroom.

It is not clear why they took the action but it was gathered the incident might not be unconnected with the lead story of Daily Trust on Sunday on military operations in the North East.

The paper had reported the military plans to reclaim Baga and other communities taken over by Boko Haram some weeks ago.

The military authorities had earlier claimed that no territory was being occupied by the insurgents.

Before the raid on the newspaper’s office in Abuja, military operatives were said to have also stormed its regional office in Maiduguri, Borno State, arresting the regional editor, Uthman Abubakar and a reporter, Ibrahim Sawab.

Daily Trust reported that the soldiers shut the gate of the Maiduguri regional office, after arresting the two editorial staff on sight at the time of the raid.

A witness also noted that the soldiers requested to see Daily Trust’s Political Editor, Hamza Idris, whose byline appeared on the story.

The Nigerian Army could not be reached for comments on Sunday as the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Sani Usman’s mobile line rang out.

Later, he sent a text message that read, “Please text me.”

A text message, however, sent to his phone had yet to be replied to as of press time.

Usman had a week ago warned that there would be consequences on reports which the military considered to be negative about its activities, noting that such reports dampened the morale of troops fighting the insurgency in the North-East.

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