Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the dreaded Boko Haram group that has wreaked terror in northern Nigeria for years, has been reported dead again.
A report attributed to top commanders of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a breakaway faction of Boko Haram, said Shekau blew himself up on Wednesday, May 19, following a confrontation in Sambisa forest.
The Boko Haram leader was said to have killed himself with a bomb “when he observed that the ISWAP fighters wanted to capture him alive”.
According to the report, ISWAP members “surrounded the Boko Haram leader with his team and shooting ensued between the two factions” during which Shekau exploded.
Shekau’s reported death has not been verified by other sources. Recall this will not be the first time the death of the terrorist gang leader will be reported. Shekau’s death has been reported at least 4 times in the Nigerian media.
Nigeria’s military announced in 2009 that Abubakar Shekau had died during an onslaught against the insurgents, only for him to appear in a videotaped interview in July 2010.
He was reported dead again in August 2013. He appeared in a video again a month later, but the Army claimed the person in the video was an imposter.
Shekau’s death was also reported in 2014 and 2015. In August 2016, the Nigerian Air Force said he had been “fatally wounded” in airstrikes.