MAIDUGURI, Nigeria-- Police say they have arrested more members of a radical Muslim sect responsible for targeted killings in northern Nigeria.

Authorities say the 23 new arrests announced Tuesday bring the number of suspected Boko Haram sect members in police custody to 128.

The military has joined the police in patrolling Maiduguri and neighboring cities in northeast Nigeria. Police chief Mohammed Abubakar said their effort is yielding results.

Followers of Boko Haram, which means "Western education is sacrilege" in Hausa, have emerged recently from hiding after their followers started a July 2009 riot, which led to a subsequent security crackdown that left 700 people dead.

Authorities accuse them of killing local leaders and policemen in recent weeks.