Boko Haram leader ‘kills self’ in fight with rival jihadists

Written by on June 7, 2021

Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau killed himself in a fight against rival jihadist fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) according to audio AFP obtained from the group Sunday, two weeks after reports emerged that he had died.

His death marks a major shift in Nigeria’s 12-year-old jihadist insurgency that has killed more than 40,000 people and displaced around two million in the northeast.

Boko Haram has not yet officially commented on the death of their 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 a voice resembling that of ISWAP leader Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, speaking in the Kanuri language.

The audio, which was not dated, was given to AFP by the same source who conveyed previous messages from the group.

ISWAP described in the audio how it sent fighters to Boko Haram’s enclave in the Sambisa forest, that they found Shekau sitting inside his house and engaged him in a firefight.

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