US Skeptical About Shekau’s Death

The United States have expressed doubts about the authenticity of reports from the Nigerian Military over the death of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, who was said to have been killed in recent clashes between the army and fighters of the Islamist sect.

“The Nigerians have announced several times that the head of Boko Haram was dead and every single time we find out that it is not true,” a senior State Department official told reporters, airing the scepticism of the United States.

“What I read recently is that Shekau’s lookalike or some Shekau impostor was killed and then I read later that maybe Shekau himself was killed. I don’t put a lot of weight on those stories until we see more evidence,” Vanguard quoted the official, who asked to remain anonymous, as saying.

A statement by the Defence Ministry had on Wednesday said the man killed in the widely circulated video was Bashir Mohammed, a Shekau double.

The man was said to have been appearing in videos in stead of the real Shekau. Reports that however emanated earlier from top security sources was that Shekau was finally dead, after declining to confirm similar claims from police in 2009 and 2013.

The reported release of one of the abducted Chibok girls and surrender of some members of the sect may be part of the reasons why it may be easier to believe Shekau’s death this time around. But continued attacks in some parts of the North East also leaves much to be asked.

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