Boko Haram leader Abubaker Shekau Kills himself -rival Militants group Says

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A rival militamt group in Nigeria claims Boko Haram leader blew himself up with bombs; Courtesy Photo

The leader of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau has killed himself allegedly evading capture -rival Islamist militants said.

In an audio recording obtained by news agencies, the Islamic State West Africa Province (Iswap) said Shekau died by detonating explosives on himself following a battle between the two groups.

Neither Boko Haram nor the Nigerian government have confirmed his death.

In the audio recording, a voice thought to be that of Iswap leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi said Shekau “killed himself instantly by detonating an explosive”. Iswap fighters hunted down the warlord and offered him the chance to repent and join them, al-Barnawi said.

“Shekau preferred to be humiliated in the afterlife than getting humiliated on earth,” he said. Shekau has been reported dead numerous times before, only to resurface. He was also reported dead last month.

When reports of Shekau’s death in a clash circulated last month, the Nigerian army said it would investigate.

One journalist with close links to security agencies said that Shekau died when Iswap attacked Boko Haram positions in the Sambisa forest, north-east Nigeria.

Sheakau took over the leadership of Boko Haram after its founder died in police custody in 2009 and led its transformation from an underground sect to a deadly insurgency that has swept north-east Nigeria.

Under Shekau, Boko Haram staged bombings, kidnappings and prison breaks across the region. And from 2014, it began overrunning towns in a bid to create an Islamic State under Sharia law.

Believed to be in his early- to mid-40s, Shekau backed a bloody jihadist campaign in propaganda videos that drew comparisons to Osama Bin Laden.

“I enjoy killing… the way I enjoy slaughtering chickens and rams,” he said in one 2012 video.

Since he took charge, more than 30,000 people have been killed and over two million displaced from their homes.

The notorious group gained global attention after its 2014 kidnapping of hundreds of girls from a school in Chibok, in Borno state, sparking the #BringBackOurGirls movement. Up to today, many of them are still missing.

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