The Oklahoman

Nigerian kills new leader of IS-linked group

- Chinedu Asadu

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 official 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 verified and there was no immediate confirmation 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.

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