Nigeria Says Air Strike May Have Killed Boko Haram Leader

1471954973_AP_726852700474

This May 12, 2014 file photo taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, shows their leader Abubakar Shekau.

Source: AP Photo
  • Army says Shekau may have been ‘fatally wounded’ in strike
  • Attack occurred in northeastern state of Borno, army says

Nigeria’s military said it may have killed Abubakar Shekau, the disputed leader of the Islamist militant movement Boko Haram.

Shekau was “believed to be fatally wounded” during an air strike on the Sambisa forest in the northeastern state of Borno on Aug. 19, army spokesman Sani Usman said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday.

The announcement was made as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Nigeria to discuss security issues, including Boko Haram. The Nigerian authorities have reported Shekau’s probable death at least twice before, including in 2014 and 2013.

Shekau took over the militant group in 2009, when it began an insurgency that’s killed tens of thousands of people in a bid to impose its version of Islamic law on Africa’s most populous nation. While Islamic State announced this month that Abu Musab al-Barnawi was Boko Haram’s new leader, Shekau said in a video released on Aug. 8 that he was still in charge.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE