• News - North East - Borno
  • Updated: May 20, 2021

Shekau Reportedly Blows Himself Up As ISWAP Takes Over Sambisa Forest

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has reportedly blown himself up according to multiple sources.

HumAngle reports that the incident took place on Wednesday evening when the armed members of the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) fighters invaded Shakau’s stronghold in the Sambisa forest area.

ISWAP, which broke away from the Shekau-led Boko Haram faction in 2016 after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), raided Shekau’s hideout using multiple gun trucks.

The enclave of the Boko Haram leader was tracked down by ISWAP using its forces based in Timbuktu Triangle. His fighters were killed in the process, followed by a long gunfire exchange between the invading group and Shakau’s bodyguards.

According to HumAngle, after the ISWAP group subdued his bodyguards, Shekau surrendered and engaged in hours-long meetings with the ISWAP fighters. During the discussion, 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 him, eventually blew himself up, with everyone present at the negotiations.

HumAngle said that the identity of the people within the leadership of ISWAP, who lost their lives to the explosion remains unclear at the time of reporting.

Shekau had been the leader of Boko Haram since 2009 following the death of the founder of the group, Mohammed Yusuf.

The terrorist leader had been rumored to have been killed at least four times between July 2009 and August 2015.

In August 2016, the Nigerian Air Force claimed he had been “fatally wounded” by military bombardments, but they released a video only a month later, showing he was alive and in good health.


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