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Army: We can’t confirm if Shekau is dead… we’re still investigating

Army: We can’t confirm if Shekau is dead… we’re still investigating
May 21
17:03 2021

The Nigerian Army says it cannot confirm if Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram leader, is dead.

Shekau was reportedly killed on Wednesday in a confrontation with fighters of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a breakaway faction of Boko Haram.

According to a police intelligence report, ISWAP commanders were quoted to have said Shekau killed himself with a bomb “when he observed that the ISWAP fighters wanted to capture him alive”.

But when contacted on Friday, Mohammed Yerima, army spokesperson, said the death claim is still being investigated.

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“We cannot confirm that he is dead. We’re still investigating. When we confirm, we will let you know,” he told TheCable.

Interestingly, the military had, at least three times, declared that its troops had killed Shekau.

But the Boko Haram commander had always returned to dismiss the military’s claim.

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In August 2013, the army said Shekau may have been killed after an attack the military carried out on June 30, 2013.

In September 2014, the military said it had killed Shekau in a battle with insurgents in Konduga.

In August 19, 2016, again the military said some Boko Haram commanders have been killed, while Shekau was believed to be fatally wounded following air strike operations.

The military, in March 2017, however later admitted that it had not apprehended the real Shekau, despite capturing camp Zairo, a stronghold of the insurgents inside the Sambisa forest.

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In 2018, the army placed a bounty of N3 million on the Boko Haram commander.

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