Boko Haram fac­tional leader claims at­tack on mil­i­tary

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - WORLD -

KANO, Nige­ria: The leader of one of two fac­tions of ji­hadist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, claimed a se­ries of at­tacks in north­east Nige­ria in a video mes­sage ob­tained by AFP.

The fire­brand leader said his fight­ers were re­spon­si­ble for a raid on the mil­i­tary on Mon­day in Kumshe vil­lage, near the Cameroon bor­der, and other at­tacks in re­cent days.

“We are re­spon­si­ble for at­tacks such as those in Kumshe, Gu­lumba, and other vil­lages where at­tacks are be­ing car­ried out in re­cent days, with the help of Al­lah,” Shekau said in the eight­minute record­ing – his first pub­lic ut­ter­ances since July.

Boko Haram split into two – Shekau’s fac­tion and the Is­lamic State West Africa Prov­ince (ISWAP) – in mid-2016 over ide­o­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences.

Shekau has pledged al­le­giance to IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Bagh­dadi, but the Mid­dle Eastern group gave its for­mal back­ing only to ISWAP. ISWAP dis­agreed with Shekau’s indis­crim­i­nate use of vi­o­lence against civil­ians and vowed to only hit ‘hard’ mil­i­tary or gov­ern­ment tar­gets.

But the re­cent ex­e­cu­tion of two civil­ian aid work­ers and the al­leged killing of ISWAP’s de-facto leader, Mam­man Nur, has prompted spec­u­la­tion about a takeover by hard­lin­ers, and a pos­si­ble rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with Shekau’s fac­tion. — AFP

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