Boko Haram suspect trials to start in Nigeria

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The first of more than 1,600 suspected Boko Haram militants are due to appear in a series of trials scheduled to start later today in Nigeria.

Most of the defendants were arrested in the last few years as the Nigerian government stepped up its campaign against the Islamist militant group.

Boko Haram has been fighting for the last eight years to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state.

There are at least 7,000 suspects being held in different locations in the north-east of the country who are expected to face trial in the coming weeks.

To date a small number of people have been tried and convicted for links to the insurgency.

The BBC's Ishaq Khalid in the northern city of Bauchi says it is an enormous challenge for a judicial system plagued with corruption.

The Nigerian courts are also chronically slow and these are cases with more difficulties than most, he says.
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