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Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Notorious Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, did not feature in a new 10-minute Boko Haram video which was posted Tuesday on video-sharing website, YouTube, further stirring debate that he may have been killed in the renewed military offensive against the terrorist group by Nigerian troops and the multi-regional task force, made up of troops from Cameroun, Chad and Niger. Shekau has featured prominently in most of the group’s videos over the last three years.

Nigeria’s military has previously claimed to have killed him only for him then to pop up on another video. The authorities have explained such appearances away by saying that the role of “Shekau” was filled by various lookalike insurgents.

In the video, an unidentified speaker, his face obscured by a headscarf, rejected claims from Nigeria’s military that the Boko Haram has been routed by the four-nation offensive. Instead it called Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger “the lying coalition partners.”

“Most of our territory is still under our control,” said the speaker.

The video bears the logo “Islamic State in West Africa” and follows the Nigerian militants’ pledge of allegiance in an audio message in March to the IS group, that has overrun large parts of Syria and Iraq, the AFP reported.

The speaker in the new message appears in front of two pick-up trucks, with four other gunmen visible in the background. He speaks in the Hausa language that is dominant in northern Nigeria with Arabic and English subtitles shown below. An AK-47 rifle rests on his chest as he seeks to rebuke the claims of successes made in recent weeks by the coalition.

“The armies claim through the media that they captured our towns and that they assaulted Sambisa (forest) and defeated us,” he said, referring to the bushland area in Nigeria’s northeast Borno state that has been an Islamist stronghold.

“I swear by Allah that I am talking right now from Sambisa… Here in Sambisa you can travel more than four to five hours under the black flag of Islam by car or by motorbike.”
“We are uncountable in Sambisa. We are thousands of Mujahedeen here,” he further said, dismissing claims of the insurgents’ defeat as “false propaganda”.

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