Nigerian security agencies are reviewing information that Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Boko Haram Islamist militant group, may have been killed in a battle with the military, a person familiar with the investigation said.
Bloomberg reports that Shekau may have been killed in fighting near Konduga in northeastern Nigeria, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because a public statement hasn’t been made by the government.
The Nigerian armed forces yesterday said in a Twitter posting that over 60 Boko Haram militants had been killed and a senior Boko Haram leader had been captured in the battle at Konduga. The leader, who wasn’t identified by the armed forces, is being treated at a military hospital.
Boko Haram, which has been battling the Nigerian state since 2009, killed more than 2,000 people in the first half of this year in an escalating campaign of bomb and gun attacks, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch. More than 350,000 people in the northeastern states where the violence is fiercest have fled their homes this year, according to the National Emergency Management Agency.
The military last year said Shekau may have been killed in a June 30 battle. He later appeared in a video sent to reporters as proof that he was still alive.