Nigerian Security Probing Possible Death of Boko Haram’s Shekau During Konduga Battle
Indications have emerged that Nigerian security agencies are probing the possible death of the leader of the Boko Haram militant group, Abubakar Shekau.
A source privy to the investigation who asked not to be identified because a public statement hasn’t been made by the government revealed that Shekau may have been killed in a recent battle with the military in Konduga, a town located 35 kilometres from Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno State.
The Boko Haram sect has suffered heavy defeat from the Nigerian troops in three separate to overrun Konduga with the overall aim of advancing on Maiduguri.
About 200 members of the Boko Haram group were killed and a variety of high calibre weapons seized from them in the first battle to take over Konduga as the Nigerian troops laid ambush for the insurgents. [See also: How Nigeria Army Routed Boko Haram in Konduga, Sect’s Cameraman, Others Killed].
Unperturbed by the September 12 defeat, the sect fighters returned to Konduga about two weeks after and engaged troops in a 12 hour battle, but it ended up another victory for the military as about a hundred more of the fighters were killed. [See also: Nigerian Troops Kill Over 450 Boko Haram Fighters Attempting To Invade Maiduguri
But just few hours after the second battle and when the troops paraded the street of Maiduguri with the APC’s seized from the insurgent in celebration of the victory, the sect members struck again. At the end of the battle, 60 members of the sect were killed and a senior leader of the sect was captured.
The Nigerian armed forces yesterday said in a Twitter posting 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.
It is believed that Shekau who had vowed in one of his recent video to personally lead the battle to capture Maiduguri lead other fighters of the Boko Haram group to the Konduga battle where he is believed to have been killed.
The source who revealed that investigation is on to determine if he was killed in the battle said the government is keeping it secret because of earlier claims that caused it embarrassment.
The military last year said Shekau may have been killed in a June 30 battle, but he later appeared in a video sent to reporters as proof that he was still alive.
The Shekau led Boko Haram has stepped up its deadly campaign in the first half of 2014, with over 2,000 killed between January and June alone, York-based Human Rights Watch said. 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.
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