Boko Haram fighters 'surrender' as alleged chief killed - News Hunter Magazine


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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Boko Haram fighters 'surrender' as alleged chief killed

More than 260 Boko Haram militants have surrendered in north-eastern
Nigeria, the military has said.

The military says it has also killed a man featuring in the group's
recent propaganda videos, pretending to be its deceased leader
Abubakar Shekau.

The army said it had killed Shekau last year, but never provided proof.

Boko Haram has suffered heavy losses in recent weeks as the Nigerian
military battles the group close to its hometown of Maiduguri in the

The military said that 135 Boko Haram members surrendered with their
weapons in Biu, Borno State, on Tuesday - and that 133 others
surrendered elsewhere in north-eastern Nigeria.

The BBC's Will Ross in Lagos says that the claims are impossible to verify.

However, if they are true, it could be a major turning point for the
army's campaign against Boko Haram militants, our correspondent adds.

It was also the first time that the Nigerian military has publicly
mentioned the death of the group's leader Abubakar Shekau, who
security forces claimed had died in clashes with the army in 2009.

General Chris Olukolade of the Nigerian military said that a man named
Mohammed Bashir was among those killed in the latest offensive against
Boko Haram last week.

Bashir "had been acting or posing in videos as the deceased Abubakar
Shekau, the eccentric character known as leader of the group", he

The military however did not give any dates or locations for when they
believe Shekau actually died.

Speaking at the United Nations Security Council meeting, Nigerian
President Goodluck Jonathan urged the council to find more ways to
combat the militant threat.

"Evidence has shown that Boko Haram is sourced largely from outside
our country," he said.

"Only by united action and firm resolve can we check this urgent
threat to humanity and also build the enduring structures that will
resist their re-emergence."

"Boko Haram" means "Western education is forbidden" in Arabic, and the
group frequently attacks schools and colleges, which it sees as a
symbol of Western culture.

Boko Haram was behind the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from
Chibok in Borno state in April.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch says more than 2,000 civilians
have been killed in the region this year.

Credit: BBC

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