The Nigerian Army has said it is probing the reported death of the dreaded Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.
Mohammed Yerima, Director of Army Public Relations, said this on Thursday.
Reports emerged earlier on Thursday that Shekau committed suicide following the invasion of the terror group’s stronghold in the Sambisa forest area by a column of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters on Wednesday evening.
According to HumAngle, Shekau’s enclave was tracked down by ISWAP using its forces based in the Timbuktu Triangle.
The terrorist reportedly activated a suicide vest he secretly wore and blew himself up alongside everyone present during the negotiations as the ISWAP leadership had asked him to voluntarily relinquish power and order his fighters in other areas to declare allegiance to the ISIS-linked group, the report said.
When contacted, Yerima, a Brigadier-General, neither denied nor confirm the reports on Shekau.
“We are investigating,” Yerima told the international news wire, AFP by text.
Shekau had been the leader of Boko Haram since 2009 following the death of the group’s founder, Mohammed Yusuf. He had been rumoured to have been killed at least four times between July 2009 and August 2015.