Nigerian kills new leader of IS-linked group
LAGOS, Nigeria – Nigerian security forces killed the new leader of an Islamic State-linked extremist group blamed for killing hundreds in Nigeria and neighboring ountries, a senior security official said Friday.
Nigeria’s national security adviser Babagana Monguno said that Malam Bako, who recently succeeded Abu Musab al-Barnawi as leader of the Islamic State in West Africa Province, was “taken out” by troops this week.
Bako’s death could not be independently verified and there was no immediate confirmation from ISWAP. The development would be another heavy blow on ISWAP following last week’s announcement by the Nigerian military that al-Barnawi was killed.
In August, Bako was appointed a member of the Shura Council, ISWAP’s consultative assembly, as the militants consolidated their position in the Lake Chad basin following the death of rival leader Abubakar Shekau of the Boko Haram extremist group.
Monguno said the IS-linked group is facing a leadership crisis and that military operations have put “a lot of pressure” on ISWAP and Boko Haram.