Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Amid Surge In Boko Haram's Attacks, Abubakar Shekau Appears In Video



Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau
released a video message on Tuesday
claiming a series of attacks in northeast
Nigeria during the festive season .
The shadowy leader released his first
video message in months amid a surge in
violence casting doubt on the Nigerian
government’ s claim that the jihadist
group is defeated .
“ We are in good health and nothing has
happened to us,” said Shekau in the 31-
minute video message spoken in the
Hausa language common across northern
Nigeria .
“ Nigerian troops , police and those
creating mischief against us can ’ t do
anything against us, and you will gain
nothing ,” he said .
“ We carried out the attacks in Maiduguri ,
in Gamboru , in Damboa. We carried out
all these attacks .”
The video then shows footage from a
Christmas Day attack on a military
checkpoint in Molai village on the
outskirts of the northeast Nigerian city of
Maiduguri , which the military said was
thwarted by troops after one hour of
battle .
Boko Haram fighters in torn clothes were
shown shooting from the back of
battered pickup trucks .
Shekau ’s message comes during an
acceleration of Boko Haram attacks and
just days after the jihadists killed 25
people outside Maiduguri , the birthplace
of the Islamist insurgency.
In December , Boko Haram attacked
convoys of Nigerian soldiers and
dispatched suicide bombers into
crowded markets in towns across
northeast Nigeria .
At least 50 people were killed in
November when a suicide bomber blew
himself up at a mosque in Adamawa
state .
But Nigerian President Muhammadu
Buhari said in his New Year address that
Boko Haram has been “ beaten” .
“ Isolated attacks still occur, but even the
best- policed countries cannot prevent
determined criminals from committing
terrible acts of terror ,” said Buhari .
Shekau , a leader known for his lengthy ,
wild - eyed video messages, took over
Boko Haram in 2009 after the death of its
founder Muhammad Yusuf .
Boko Haram, whose Islamist insurgency
has left at least 20,000 dead in Nigeria
since it began in 2009, has long been
fractionalised.
In 2016 it suffered a major split , when
the so - called Islamic State group
recognised Yusuf ’s son , Abu Mus ’ab al-
Barnawi, as a leader .



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