Nigerian confirms death of Boko Haram leader
ABUJA — The Nigerian military on Thursday confirmed the death of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, Daily Post reports.
According to Major General Lucky Irabor, Commander of the Army’s Operation Lafiya Dole, the individual originally identified as Shekau had been killed, despite claims suggested that a second man bearing the same name was injured during air strikes just a few days prior.
A report released by The Sun early this week revealed that a man believed to be Shekau had been fatally injured following an airstrike conducted by security officials. The airstrike, described as “spectacular”, was alleged to have claimed the lives of 300 Boko Haram militants hiding out in the northern areas of the west African state.
“I can confirm to you that the original Shekau was killed, the second Shekau was killed, and the man presenting himself as Shekau, I can also confirm to you that few days ago, he was wounded. We are yet to confirm whether he is dead or not,” Irabor was quoted as saying.
Irabor’s claims marked the latest in a series of announcements relating to the death of the Boko Haram leader, all of which have been proven false due to his re-emergence in videos released by the Islamist sect. The Nigerian army insisted that Shekau had finally been killed.
The army maintained that it did not make announcements that were not based on facts.
Since his emergence in 2009, Shekau has been declared dead on several occasions, although the Nigerian army never solidly confirmed the claims, Naij reports.
Shekau took over as leader of the group after its founder, Mohammed Yusuf, was paraded before being executed in front of a crowd by army operatives.
Under his leadership, Boko Haram has slain thousands of civilians, while displacing over 2 million. — AP