There have been wide speculations that the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau has died in a battle with security forces in Konduga, Borno State, North Eastern Nigeria. Hence, the Nigerian security agencies are reviewing information on the reported killing of the militant sect leader, a person familiar with the investigation said.
The Nigerian armed forces had said in a tweet that over 60 Boko Haram militants had been killed and a senior Boko Haram leader had been captured in the battle at Konduga. The leader, who wasn’t identified by the armed forces, is being treated at a military hospital.
Boko Haram, which has been battling the Nigerian state since 2009, killed more than 2,000 people in the first half of this year in an escalating campaign of bomb and gun attacks, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch. More than 350,000 people in the northeastern states where the violence is fiercest have fled their homes this year, according to the National Emergency Management Agency.
The military last year said Shekau may have been killed in a June 30 battle. He later appeared in a video sent to reporters as proof that he was still alive. However, the picture and manner of operations by the current leader cannot be reconciled with that of the allegedly killed Shekau, fueling belief in among many citizens that he was killed last year.
Perhaps the military forces in Nigeria are working to provide evidence Shekau’s successor’s killing to ensure no one is left in doubt before announcing his death.
Nevertheless, rumours about the death of Shekau and some of his commanders in the battle with troops in Konduga has been spreading across the Borno State.