Nigeria Arrests Boko Haram 'female recruiters'

Three women have been arrested in Nigeria for recruiting female members for the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, the country’s military says.

The women are said to have targeted widows and young girls, promising them marriage to Boko Haram members.

The militant group now has a female wing, the military says.

Boko Haram seems to be trying to get women to play a more active role in its insurgency, the BBC’s Will Ross reports from Abuja.

Last month, a female suicide bomber died when she tried to attack a barracks in Gombe State – the first case of its kind in Nigeria.

The bomb detonated as she was being searched at a security checkpoint. One soldier was also killed.

Women have also been among those detained in mass arrests in cities like Maiduguri in northern Nigeria, a region where Boko Haram enjoys a measure of support.

The Nigerian military said the three women it had arrested were members of an intelligence cell.

One of them was said to be the widow of a Boko Haram militant.

The Islamist group is still holding more than 200 schoolgirls it captured in April in the town of Chibok in Borno state.

Boko Haram is demanding the release of its fighters and their relatives in exchange for the girls. The government has rejected this.