Nigeria’s military said Tuesday it believes an airstrike has “fatally wounded” Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau but that there was no way to confirm yet another claim of the death of Nigeria’s Islamic extremist leader.
A statement from the military does not say how officials got the information but identifies other commanders as “confirmed dead” in an air raid on Friday.
Nigerian security forces have at least three times in the past declared that they have killed or fatally wounded Shekau, only to have him resurface in video and audio recordings. The military has said in the past that Boko Haram was using look-alike fighters to impersonate the supposedly dead leader.
The strikes came in “the most unprecedented and spectacular air raid” carried out by the Nigerian air force while Shekau was praying on Friday, Islam’s holy day, at Taye village in the extremists’ Sambisa Forest holdout in northeast Nigeria, according to the statement signed by army spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman.