A top figure of the Islamic State group fueling Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria has been captured by the police in Istanbul, Turkey.
Local media described him as the slain leader’s “right-hand man”.
The development is coming as Sudan suspended an agreement that allowed Russia to construct a naval base off the coast of the Red Sea, Middle Eastern media reported.
A senior Sudanese military official said his country had informed Moscow about the suspension, citing the need for thorough review by the parliament. He debunked rumors that the construction of the base already had begun and that Russian aircraft brought equipment to the area.
The Russian Embassy in Khartoum said it has not received any official letter from the Sudanese government regarding the matter, saying the reports “do not correspond with reality.”
“This agreement will enter into force only after both parties ratify it,” the embassy wrote on Facebook. “Since this has not yet happened, all other statements are and aim to damage traditionally friendly Russian-Sudanese relations.”
The 25-year agreement between Sudan and Russia, signed in December last year, aimed to “uphold peace and stability in the region.”
The deal, according to The Defense Post, will see Moscow establish a “logistical support center” in Port Sudan where “repairs and resupply operations” can take place.
Furthermore, the logistics hub would host nuclear-powered warships and would become home to up to 300 military and civilian personnel.
Once complete, the base on the Red Sea would be Russia’s first naval base in Africa.
In the mean time, officers have reportedly detained the Afghan man, whose codename is “Basim,” during a joint raid with Turkish intelligence agents in the Atasehir district on the city’s Asian side.
IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in 2019 in a US special forces raid carried out with the help of Kurdish fighters in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.
Turkish media reported that the man captured had helped Baghdadi hide in Idlib.
The suspect was also apparently responsible for the extremist group’s “so-called military wing,” the broadcaster NTV reported.
He arrived in Istanbul with a fake passport and identity card, the channel said, while DHA news agency said he was detained on April 28.
Turkey has stepped up the fight against IS extremists who have carried out deadly attacks in the country, including the mass shooting at an elite Istanbul nightclub in 2017.
That attack killed 39 people, including 27 foreigners.
Since then, there have been regular police raids to detain suspects across the country.