The Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram denied claims by the authorities of winning the six-year war against insurgency after the army said it was pushing “for the final defeat,” of the militants.
“We are still at battle ground,” Abubakar Shekau, the leader of terrorist group said in audio recording posted on YouTube that couldn’t immediately be verified. Comments by the military are “propaganda” and “lies,” he said in Hausa language dismissing claims the group would be flushed out before the end of the year as ordered by the President.
Nigerian military said Saturday it “captured” the villages of Jerre and Dipchari in northeast Borno State and rescued 62 people fleeing from Bitti and Pulka villages as it pushed “for the final defeat of the Boko Haram terrorists.” President Muhammadu Buhari who came to power in May replaced the heads of the country’s army, navy and air force in July and ordered them to end the insurgency in three months.
“Buhari said he is going to finish with us in three months. You did not finish with us; there is a lot more to do you Nigerians, you Chadians, you Cameroonians,” Shekau said in the audio recording. The Boko Haram insurgency, which aims to establish a strict version of Islamic law in Africa’s largest economy and oil producer, has left thousands of people dead. Its cross-border attacks drew Cameroon, Niger and Chad into a regional military campaign.