Nigeria ‘kills Boko Haram’ commanders

Nigeria’s army says it has killed several commanders of the Islamist group Boko Haram in an air strike and seriously wounded its disputed leader.

An army spokesman told the BBC’s Hausa service that Abubakar Shekau’s shoulder was badly injured in the strike on Friday in north-eastern Borno state.

There has been no independent confirmation of the strike but the military says it seriously injured the elusive Boko Haram leader and killed three other commanders Abubakar Mubi, Malam Nuhu and Malam Hamman.

Nigeria has repeatedly claimed to have killed Shekau in previous raids only for him to appear shortly afterwards in videos.

Shekau was “fatally wounded in the shoulder” during Friday’s raids, said army spokesman Sani Usman in a statement, without giving further details.

Claims by the army that it has killed Shekau have proven to be false on at least five previous occasions and correspondents say these latest reports should therefore be treated with caution.

Boko Haram is fighting to overthrow Nigeria’s government and establish an Islamic State in the north.

In the last 18 months it has lost most of the territory it had controlled after being pushed back in an offensive by the forces of Nigeria and its neighbours.

The army’s announcement comes on the day of a high-profile visit to Nigeria by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

 

 

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