Boko Haram chief Abubakar Shekau, was severely wounded in a suicide try and keep away from seize by rival jihadists in northeastern Nigeria, two sources near the intelligence providers stated on Thursday.
One of many sources advised AFP that after being surrounded in clashes with members of the Islamic State in West Africa (Iswap) and “to keep away from seize, Shekau shot himself within the chest, and the bullet went by his shoulder.”
“He was severely wounded,” the supply stated, including that a few of his fighters managed to flee and took him with them.
A second intelligence supply advised AFP that Shekau was severely wounded after activating explosives in the home the place he and his males had taken refuge.
“We’re investigating,” Nigerian military spokesman Mohammed Yerima advised AFP, however didn’t elaborate.
A number of Nigerian media shops declare Abubakar Shekau is useless, however it was not potential to confirm this data from unbiased sources.
The Boko Haram chief had been given up for useless a number of instances by the Nigerian military up to now.
Northeast Nigeria has been suffering from a jihadist insurgency for over a decade. The battle, which started with Boko Haram assaults in 2009, has killed greater than 40,000 individuals and compelled 2 million from their houses.
‘Not excellent news for the Nigerian military’
Shekau took over the management in 2010, after the loss of life in jail of its founder Mohamed Yusuf, and oversaw a territorial growth with the group now controlling a lot of the northeastern state of Borno.
However the group additionally splintered throughout his management. His faction controls the world across the Sambisa Forest, whereas Iswap, recognised by the so-called Islamic State organisation (ISA), has its stronghold round Lake Chad and within the Alagarno Forest.
Each jihadist teams are nonetheless preventing the Nigerian military, and clashes between them additionally happen sporadically.
In recent times, Iswap has grown in power, gaining territory and launching extra subtle assaults.
Shekau’s group, however, seems to be shedding floor. The Nigerian military has lately stepped up operations towards the group and a number of other of its fighters have defected.
However Boko Haram has continued to launch bloody assaults: final November, the jihadists slit the throats of 76 farmers in a discipline on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, the epicentre of the insurgency.
Evicting Boko Haram from the Sambisa forest can be a significant breakthrough for Iswap, whose territory lies additional west and north.
“If Iswap actually controls Sambisa, Alagarno and Lake Chad, it may act on all of the roads resulting in Maiduguri,” Vincent Foucher, a researcher for the French Centre for Scientific Analysis (CNRS) and an professional on the area, stated. “Clearly, this could not be excellent news for the Nigerian military or for these within the area.