Hundreds Of Boko Haram Fighters ‘Surrender’ As Alleged Leader Killed

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More than 260 Islamist militants have surrendered in north-eastern Nigeria, the military has said.

Over 260 Boko Haram militants have surrendered in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria says the military.

Soldiers had also killed a man who featured in Boko Haram’s propaganda videos pretending to be the group’s leader Abubakar Shekau, it added.

Last year, the military said that Shekau may have been killed, without providing any proof.

Boko Haram has suffered heavy losses in recent weeks in battles in its stronghold of north-eastern Nigeria.

The military said that 135 Boko Haram members surrendered with their weapons in Biu, Borno state, on Tuesday – and that 133 others surrendered elsewhere in north-eastern Nigeria.

However, international reporters have come out to say that claims are impossible to verify.

However, if they are true, it could be a major turning point for the army’s campaign against Boko Haram militants.

Bring back our girls protest on 5 May 2014
The kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in April sparked a worldwide campaign for their release
Captured girls in Nigeria
The government is under pressure to secure the release of schoolgirls abducted in April

General Chris Olukolade of the Nigerian military said that a man named Mohammed Bashir was among those killed in the latest offensive against Boko Haram last week.

Bashir “had been acting or posing in videos as the deceased Abubakar Shekau, the eccentric character known as leader of the group”, he said. Gen Olukolade did not give further details.

In a statement in August 2013, the military said intelligence reports indicated that Shekau “may have died” in a shoot-out with government forces at a Boko Haram camp in the vast Sambisa Forest, along Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, about two months earlier.

Women sit at Gamboru central market on 11 May  2014 burnt by suspected Boko Haram insurgents during the 5 May attack at Ngala in Gamboru Ngala district, Borno State in north-eastern Nigeria
Boko Haram’s insurgency has caused much destruction in north and central Nigeria

However, Nigerian journalist Ahmad Salkida, who has good contacts in Boko Haram, says on on his Twitter account that he has it “on authority that Shekau is well and alive”.

He said he met Shekau during a failed attempt to negotiate the release of 200 schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram in April.

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