Doubt over Boko Haram leader's 'death' reports

Nigerian authorities have remained tight-lipped on reports that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau or the man purportedly impersonating him in recent videos had been killed.

Doubt over Boko Haram leader's 'death' reports

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Cameroonian military source has described reports about the killing of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau as a "trick".

"Abubakar Shekau has not been killed," the source told Anadolu Agency.

On Sunday, a photo was published on the Facebook by the Cameroonian army showing the dead body of a man who resembled Shekau, triggering speculation that the elusive militant leader had been killed.

Boko Haram has recently mounted attacks on Cameroonian villages on border with Nigeria.

On Monday, at least 20 people were killed in a Boko Haram attack on a Cameroonian village, a security source said.

Boko Haram militants have in recent weeks overrun several towns across Nigeria's restive northeastern region.

Outlawed in Nigeria, Turkey and the U.S., Boko Haram has been blamed for thousands of deaths and scores of violent attacks since becoming violent in 2009.

Nigerian authorities have remained tight-lipped on reports that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau or the man purportedly impersonating him in recent videos had been killed.

"We will speak on this issue when we (are) ready," defense spokesman Chris Olukolade told Anadolu Agency late Monday when asked to comment on the reports.

Washington had repeatedly brushed aside claims of Shekau's death, although the Nigerian government has always danced around the topic of his killing.

The defense headquarters announced on Sunday that several Boko Haram militants had surrendered as army troops keep hitting their positions in the Konduga town of the restive northeastern Borno State.

"Other captured terrorists have also been giving useful information on the subsequent plans of the group in an apparent offer to cooperate," it said.

Troops had at the weekend thwarted fresh attempts by the militants to attack Konduga, a town just 50km from Maiduguri, the provincial capital of Borno.

The military said earlier that up to 60 Boko Haram militants were killed on Wednesday as the insurgents made fresh attempts to capture Konduga.

It added that a "high ranking terrorist leader" captured during the attack was being treated at a military medical facility.

Last Mod: 23 Eylül 2014, 09:51
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