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Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram is dead, say rival militants

The Nigerian militant group Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has killed himself, rival Islamist militants said in an audio recording.

In an audio recording obtained by news agencies, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) said Shekau died by detonating explosives on himself after a battle between the two groups, reported by BBC News. Last month, Shekau was also reported dead.

Boko Haram or the Nigerian government has not yet confirmed his death.

Based on the recording, Shekau blew himself up.

In the undated audio recording, a voice thought to be that of ISWAP leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi said Shekau “killed himself instantly by detonating an explosive.” ISWAP fighters hunted down the warlord and offered him the chance to repent and join them, said by al-Barnawi. “Shekau preferred to be humiliated in the afterlife than getting humiliated on earth,” he said.

BBC News added that when reports of Shekau’s death began circulating last month, the Nigerian army promised to investigate the matter further.

Army spokesman Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima told the BBC  at the time that the army was looking into what happened but would not issue a statement until it obtained definitive proof.

Shekau has been reported dead many times before, but these rumours proved to be untrue.

Abubakar Shekau, the bloodthirsty terrorist

According to BBC News, after taking the reins of Boko Haram after its founder died in police custody in 2009, Shekau led its transformation from an underground sect to a deadly insurgency that has swept northeast Nigeria.

Under Shekau, Boko Haram staged bombings, kidnappings and prison breaks across the region. And from 2014, it began overrunning towns in a bid to create an Islamic State under Sharia law. Believed to be in his early-to-mid-forties, Shekau backed a bloody jihadist campaign in propaganda videos that drew comparisons to Osama Bin Laden.

“I enjoy killing… the way I enjoy slaughtering chickens and rams,” he said in one 2012 video. Since he took charge, more than 30,000 people have been killed and over two million displaced from their homes.

Boko Haram has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 2.3 million from their homes, and was at one time the world’s deadliest terror group according to the Global Terrorism Index.

(Source: BBC News)

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