Nige­rian con­firms death of Boko Haram leader

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

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

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