By Kingsley Omonobi, with agency report
ABUJA —The military said yesterday that several commanders of Islamic sect, Boko Haram, were killed in a major air onslaught last Monday night in Sambisa forest, while leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau, was fatally wounded in the shoulders.
Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, who disclosed this in a statement, said the operation took place August 19, 2016, as the terrorists were performing Friday rituals at Taye village, Gombale general area, within Sambisa forest in Borno State.
He said: “In what one could describe as the most unprecedented and spectacular air raid, we have just confirmed that as a result of the interdiction efforts of the Nigerian Air Force, some key leaders of the Boko Haram terrorists have been killed while others were fatally wounded.
“The air interdiction took place last Friday, August 19, 2016, while the terrorists were performing Friday rituals at Taye village, Gombale general area within Sambisa forest, Borno State.
“Those Boko Haram terrorists commanders confirmed dead include Abubakar Mubi, Malam Nuhu and Malam Hamman, among others, while their leader, the so-called ‘Abubakar Shekau’, is believed to be fatally wounded on his shoulders. Several other terrorists were also wounded.”
This is not the first time the army is claiming to have killed Abubakar Shekau, as the Army first said in 2013 it had killed the leader of the sect.
Then, in September 2014, it again said Sehkau had been killed but later said that the man killed in 2014 was a Shekau impostor who went by the names Isa Damsaka, Bashir Konduga and Bashir Mohammed.
However, the following month, Shekau released a video dismissing reports of his death, saying: “Here I am, alive. I will only die the day Allah takes my breath. I am running our… Islamic caliphate and administering sharia punishments.
“Nothing will kill me until my days are over. I’m still alive. Some people asked you if Shekau has two souls. No, I have one soul, by Allah.”
Between March 2015 and 2016, Shekau was noticeably absent in videos released by Boko Haram, only to release a video in March 2016, go quiet again and release another in August, where he threatened the mother of all attacks against Abuja, the federal capital territory.