Nigeria’s air force said it had killed some senior Boko Haram militants and believed it had fatally wounded the group’s leader in a raid on the Islamists’ northeast heartland.
Government planes attacked the fighters in the village of Taye inside the Sambisa forest in Borno State on Friday, the air force said, adding it had only just confirmed details of the raid.
‘Their leader, so called “Abubakar Shekau”, is believed to be fatally wounded on his shoulders,’ the statement released on Tuesday from army spokesman Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman added.
The military has reported Shekau’s death in the past, only to have a man purporting to be him appear later, apparently unharmed, making video statements.
There was no immediate reaction from the group.
Boko Haram’s list of victims – dead, displaced or abducted – meanwhile grows longer by the day.
The jihadist group has claimed more than 20,000 deaths, displaced 2.6 million people from their homes, and kidnapped thousands of children since it started fighting in 2009 for an independent Islamist state in Nigeria.
But the kidnapped Chibok girls continue to define the Boko Haram insurgency.
More than two years after their capture in April 2014, the girls remain the symbol of the insurgency – and a political embarrassment to the two Nigerian administrations that have failed to secure their return.
On Sunday August 14, the Chibok girls were back in the spotlight after a Boko Haram video purportedly showing some of them was released, following months of silence and speculation about their fates.
Although it is unclear when the video was shot and if the girls are all from Chibok, experts say its release date is not a coincidence.
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