Lt General Kenneth (“the Jumping General”) Minimah, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff.
LAGOS, Sept. 24 (Xinhua)
Troops in Nigeria have killed a man claiming to be leader of the Nigerian Boko Haram insurgents, Abubakar Shekau, the country’s defense authority said Wednesday.
One Mohammed Bashir, who has been acting or posing on videos as the deceased Abubakar Shekau, the eccentric character known as the leader of the group, died in an encounter with Nigerian troops in Konduga area of Borno, defense spokesperson Chris Olukolade said in a statement reaching Xinhua.
The spokesperson said several terrorists including some of their commanders lost their lives in encounters which lasted an average of about five hours each. The troops captured some of the terrorists and their equipment, he added, noting that inhabitants of the community who were victims of terrorists activities corroborated information on the identity of Abubakar Shekau.
He said a total of 135 terrorists surrendered along with equipment to troops around Biu area of northeast Borno State. Another 88 terrorists submitted themselves at Mairiga/Bun area, while 45 terrorists were picked up around Mubi in northeast Adawama State.
Olukolade said all the terrorists are being interrogated and processed in conformity with the dictates of standard best practices
The terrorists in continuation of their campaign of terror were determined to take over communities around Maiduguri, the state capital, which is their prime target. Analysts say this development further confirms the recent progress in Nigeria’s counter-terrorism approach in ending the five-year insurgency of Boko Haram, a group which has proved to be a major security threat in the West African country.
On Sunday, the Nigerian Defense Headquarters via a statement confirmed that some Boko Haram fighters had begun to surrender with their weapons voluntarily, following relentless onslaught by troops. The terrorists surrendered on Saturday, pleading for mercy, the statement said.
At least 13 insurgents were also killed in a crossfire with Nigerian forces after a local market was attacked in the same northeastern state last Friday.
Boko Haram seeks to enshrine the Islamic Sharia law in the Nigerian constitution.