66 total views, 1 views today
THE warlord leader of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram has blown himself up during a deadly shootout with rivals, say reports today.
Abubakar Shekau – once rejected by ISIS for being too radical – “killed himself” amid a bloody clash with the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
Reuters said it had heard an audio recording made by the ISWAP which said Shekau died during a battle sometime around May 18.
He was reportedly killed after detonating an explosive device, according to a person on the recording who identified himself as ISWAP leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi.
Shekau’s apparent death marks a major shift in Nigeria’s 12-year-old jihadist insurgency which has left 40,000 people dead and displaced around two million people.
Under Shekau, Boko Haram staged bombings, kidnappings and prison breaks.
And from 2014, it began overrunning towns in a bid to create an Islamic State under Sharia law.
Boko Haram has not yet officially commented on the death of its leader while the Nigerian army said it was investigating the claim.
“Shekau preferred to be humiliated in the hereafter to getting humiliated on Earth. He killed himself instantly by detonating an explosive,” said the voice resembling that of al-Barnawi on the new recording.
He said his fighters had sought the warlord on orders of the ISIS leadership, chasing him and offering him the chance to repent and join them.
“From there he retreated and escaped, ran and roamed the bushes for five days. However, the fighters kept searching and hunting for him before they were able to locate him,” the voice said.
After finding him in the bush, ISWAP fighters urged him and his followers to repent, the voice added, but Shekau refused and killed himself.
“We are so happy,” the voice said, describing Shekau as “the big troublemaker, persecutor and destructive leader of the nation.”
Shekau, 47, has been described as the world’s most-wanted fugitive.
In December, his group claimed responsibility for kidnapping more than 300 boys from a school in Nigeria’s northwest region.
Shekau unleashed a posse of gun-toting, motorbike-riding jihadis who stormed the secondary school in Kankara.
The group was also behind the 2014 kidnapping of more than 270 girls from the northern town of Chibok, which sparked the #BringBackOurGirls campaign backed by then US First Lady Michelle Obama.
Shekau had led Boko Haram since July 2009, yet despite masterminding a string of atrocities he had always evaded capture or assassination.
The US government even offered a reward of up to £4.6m for information on his location.
Shekau has been reported as dead on numerous occasions, only to later appear in videos.
The latest claims, however, appeared to have been confirmed by a Nigerian intelligence report shared by a government official.
ISWAP split from Boko Haram in 2016, objecting to Shekau’s indiscriminate targeting of Muslim civilians and use of women suicide bombers.
“This was someone who committed unimaginable terrorism and atrocities. For how long has he been leading people astray? How many times has he destroyed and abused people?” the voice on the recording said.
source: www.the-sun.comFOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA