Nigeria: ISWAP members invade Sambisa forest, kill Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau

by MCR Correspondent

Members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) have killed the leader of the Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau.

It was reported that on Wednesday May 19, 2021, the terror group’s stronghold in the Sambisa forest area was invaded by a column of ISWAP fighters.

“ISWAP raided the group’s hideout using multiple gun trucks,” the report says.

It adds that “Shekau’s enclave was tracked down by ISWAP using its forces based in the Timbuktu Triangle.

“His fighters were killed in the process, followed by a long gunfire exchange between the invading group and Shekau’s bodyguards.”

It was also reported that after his bodyguards were subdued, Shekau surrendered and engaged in an hours-long meeting with the ISWAP fighters.

“During the parley, he was asked to voluntarily relinquish power and order his fighters in other areas to declare bai’a (allegiance) to ISWAP’s authority. They had expected Shekau to issue a statement.”

Sources within the insurgency, however, said that Shekau who secretly had a suicide vest on eventually blew himself up alongside everyone present during the negotiations.

The identities of the people within ISWAP’s leadership who lost their lives to the explosion remain unclear at this time.

Shekau had been the leader of Boko Haram since 2009 following the death of the group’s founder, Mohammed Yusuf. Before now, he had been rumoured to have been killed at different times.

ISWAP had broken away from the Shekau-led Boko Haram faction in 2016 after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State.

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