Boko Haram Leader Abubakar Shekau Reported Killed–Again

Update: Nigerian military claims killing of Boko Haram leader’s ‘impersonator’ 

We can hope it is true.

Nigerian security forces have been struggling to contain the onslaught from Boko Haram, which has rampaged through towns in the country’s north and is increasingly striking at the capital, Abuja, in its bid to carve out an Islamic caliphate — the establishment of which was declared last month in the town of Gwoza. More than 2,000 people were killed in attacks by the group in the first half of 2014, according to Human Rights Watch. Boko Haram has also kidnapped civilians including children for use in the insurgency; the fate of more than 200 schoolgirls abducted from the town of Chibok in April, whom the group later threatened to marry off to fighters, is still unknown.

A source familiar with the Nigerian investigation told Bloomberg that it was thought Shekau may have been killed in fighting near Konduga in Borno state. Nigeria’s army said last week that it had killed over 60 Boko Haram fighters and captured a senior leader during a battle at Konduga, which lies around 20 miles from the state capital, Maiduguri. The military said the captured commander, who wasn’t identified, was being treated at a military hospital in the area.

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