The Nigerian air force has claimed to have killed at
least three senior commanders of Boko Haram in a
series of airstrikes.
It claims the group’s elusive leader, Abubakar
Shekau, who has a bounty on his head, has been
fatally wounded in the raids which were carried out
Government planes attacked Boko Haram fighters
in the village of Taye, inside the Sambisa Forest in
“Their leader, so called ‘Abubakar Shekau’, is
believed to be fatally wounded on his shoulders,”
army spokesman Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman
A wanted poster for Abubakar Shekau
He confirmed the deaths of three Boko Haram
commanders – Abubakar Mubi, Malam Nuhu and
Malam Hamman – and said several others were
wounded in the attack on the Islamist group’s
northeastern forest stronghold.
The military has claimed to have killed the Boko
Haram leader in the past, only to have a man
purporting to be him appear later, apparently
unharmed, ridiculing suggestions of his death in
There was no immediate reaction from the terror
Nigerian forces, with the support of regional troops,
have recently recaptured swathes of territory lost
to the jihadists.
The air raid claim came just hours ahead of US
Secretary of State John Kerry’s arrival in the
country for talks likely to focus on the challenges
of tackling Boko Haram.
Nigerian soldiers with a seized Boko Haram flag.
The group, seeking to impose strict Islamic law in
the country’s mainly Muslim north, has killed some
20,000 people and displaced as many as 2.6
million others who have been forced to flee their
homes since 2009.
It kidnapped 270 schoolgirls in April 2014, some of
whom it is believed are being held in Sambisa
The group recently released a video on YouTube,
claiming to show some of the girls taken from the
town of Chibok two years ago.
It also claimed some of the children had been
killed in government airstrikes.