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Mon Jun 7, 2021, 11:29 AM

Boko Haram leader killed on direct orders of Islamic State

Source: The Guardian

Boko Haram leader killed on direct orders of Islamic State

Isis ordered death of Abubakar Shekau over concerns about indiscriminate targeting of ‘believers’

Jason Burke Africa correspondent
Mon 7 Jun 2021 10.01 BST

The death of the leader of the Nigerian militant Islamist group Boko Haram has been confirmed by a rival extremist faction that said it carried out the killing on the direct orders of Islamic State’s leadership thousands of miles away in the Middle East.

Abubakar Shekau, one of the most infamous leaders of Islamic militant groups anywhere in the world, died last month after detonating an explosive device while being pursued by fighters from the Islamic State West African Province (Iswap). The Iswap fighters had stormed the Sambisa forest, a swath of strategically important dense forest in Nigeria’s north-east, which was Shekau’s base.

His death both delighted and embarrassed Nigerian and international security services, who spent a decade devoting huge resources on hunting down Shekau.

That the operation against Shekau was launched on the direct orders of the leadership of Isis in the Middle East, which is concerned by Boko Haram’s indiscriminate targeting of “believers”, underlines the continuing global reach of the group through its affiliates and the possibility of further expansion in Africa.

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On an audio tape obtained by Humangle, a respected local news website with strong contacts among insurgents and counter-terrorist agencies, the Iswap leader, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, can be heard telling followers that the death of Shekau came in response to orders from the new leader of Islamic State, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/07/boko-haram-leader-abubakar-shekau-killed-on-direct-orders-of-islamic-state

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