D.he Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram has confirmed the death of its leader Abubakar Shekau. In a video leaked to the AFP news agency on Wednesday, the alleged new Boko Haram boss Bakura Modu said that Shekau had died a “martyr”. He accused the rival jihadist militia Islamic State West Africa Province (Iswap) of killing Shekau.
In the short video, Modu, also known as Sahaba, presented himself as the new leader of Boko Haram. The video was sent to AFP by a source close to Boko Haram.
Notorious for its extreme brutality
Iswap boss Abu Musab Al-Barnawi announced earlier this month in an audio message sent to AFP that Shekau was dead. According to Al-Barnawi, Shekau committed suicide while fleeing from Iswap fighters. He blew himself up while fighting in a forest in Borno state.
Because of its extreme brutality, even radical Islamists had distanced themselves from Shekau, whose exact age was unknown. Under his leadership, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls in Chibok in 2014. The incident caused outrage around the world.
Iswap split from Boko Haram in 2016. The group, which has since rivaled Boko Haram, criticized Shekau for attacking Muslim civilians and using women as suicide bombers.