Military officials claim to have killed two senior Boko Haram commanders over the Sallah period

MILITARY officials have claimed that the Nigerian Army killed two Boko Haram commanders in Borno State during the Sallah break as part of an operation to finish off the insurgents.


Since 2009, Boko Haram have been waging an insurgency against the Nigerian state but of late, the authorities have gained the upper hand, dislodging them from the 14 local government areas they controlled. Despite the success of Operation Lafiya Dole, however, Boko Haram still control large swathes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State and the Nigerian military has stepped up the fight against the sect.


Nigerian Army spokesman Brigadier Sani Usman, said that the commanders who were killed in the clash were deputies to Boko Haram factional leader Sheikh Abubakar Shekau. He added that Afdu Kawuri and Abubakar Banishek were killed in a successful military operation at Alafa in Borno on Sallah day itself.


Brigadier Usman said: “This is in addition to Ba’Abba Ibrahim and two other Boko Haram commanders that died after sustaining injuries during their last ambush at Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno. Five other key leaders of the group and close associates of Shekau were neutralised in joint bombardment in August."


Sheikh Shekau has denied that five of his commanders were killed in August, however, as he produced a video last month disputing this fact. However, Brigadier Usman described Sheikh Shekau’s latest video in which he taunted the army as an act of desperation and lies aimed at instilling unnecessary fear in law abiding citizens.


“We wish to challenge the so-called terrorist leader to produce the five key commanders earlier killed or the video of those Ameers he claimed not dead and are still with him. It is also instructive to note that Shekau is scared and rattled by the 40-day ultimatum issued by the chief of army staff to Operation Lafiya Dole to fish him out," Brigadier Usman added.