The Nigeria army says it has killed two Boko Haram commanders and deputies of Abubakar Shekau, a factional leader of the sect.
Sani Usman, army spokesman, who disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, said the commanders – Afdu Kawuri and Abubakar Benishek – were killed in a successful military operation at Alafa in Borno.
“This is in addition to Ba’Abba Ibrahim and two other Boko Haram commanders that died after sustaining injuries during their last ambush at Magumeri local government area of Borno,” he said.
He said five other key leaders of the group and close associates of Shekau were neutralised in joint bombardment in August.
Usman described Shekau’s latest video, where he taunted the army, as an act of desperation and lies by “remnants of the insurgents to instil unnecessary fear in law abiding citizens”.
In the video, the group denied the killing of its five key commanders and claimed it had a wonderful Sallah celebration in the Sambisa forest.
“We wish to challenge the so-called terrorist leader to produce the five key commanders earlier killed or the video of those Ameers he claimed not dead and are still with him,” he said.
“It is also instructive to note that Shekau is scared and rattled by the 40-day ultimatum issued by the chief of army staff to Operation Lafiya Dole to fish him out.”