Boko Haram leader 'dead after detonating explosives after battle with ISIS'

7 June 2021, 18:39

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the terror group Boko Haram, has died following a fight with ISIS, rival militant groups have claimed.
Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the terror group Boko Haram, has died following a fight with ISIS, rival militant groups have claimed. Picture: Boko Haram

By Kate Buck

The leader of the terror group Boko Haram has died following a fight with ISIS, rival militant groups have claimed.

Abubakar Shekau, the head of the Nigerian Islamist terror group, reportedly died on 18 May, Boko Haram's rivals The Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) claimed in an audio recording.

The person on the recording, who identified himself as ISWAP leader Abu Musab al Barnawi, claimed Shekau died after detonating an explosive device after being chased by his group on the orders of ISIS leadership.

ISWAP was previously part of Boko Haram before it pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2016

Al Barnawi said: "Shekau preferred to be humiliated in the afterlife than getting humiliated on Earth, and he killed himself instantly by detonating an explosive.

"Abubakar Shekau, God has judged him by sending him to heaven."

Their most notorious attack was in 2014, when more than  270 girls were abducted from the northern town of Chibok
Their most notorious attack was in 2014, when more than 270 girls were abducted from the northern town of Chibok. Picture: PA

This is not the first time Shekau has been reported dead, and has previously then reappeared in videos released by the group.

However, the claims appear to have been supported by a Nigerian intelligence report shared by a government official.

Before Shekau took over leadership of the group, Boko Haram was an underground sect, but has since become a full-scale insurgency, terrorising large swathes of Nigeria.

So far more than 30,000 have been killed, and more than two million displaced.

Their most notorious attack was in 2014, when more than 270 girls were abducted from the northern town of Chibok.

100 of those girls are still missing.

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