The Nigerian military reportedly secured a significant win, when they brought hundreds of Boko Haram insurgents to their knees. Most importantly, though, Mohammed Bashir (pictured), the man who posed as Boko Haram leader Abubaker Shekau, was killed during fighting, according to the BBC.
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On Tuesday, 135 militants reportedly surrendered in Biu of Borno State, while another 133 are said to have surrendered in an unnamed area in northeastern Nigeria.
This important development comes on the heels of Bashir, who has been featured on Boko Haram’s videos pretending to be Shekau, being killed last week during a clash with the military, according to Nigerian military General Chris Olukolade.
Olukolade explains, “[Bashir] had been acting or posing in videos as the deceased Abubakar Shekau, the eccentric character known as leader of the group.”
Alive or Dead?
Last August, the military released a statement, claiming that Shekau “may have died” during a shoot-out with them in the Sambisa Forest near the Cameroon border two months prior.
But Nigerian journalist Ahmad Salkida counters that claim, writing that he met the real Boko Haram leader during a failed negotiation to retrieve the missing school girls in April:
— Ahmad Salkida (@ContactSalkida) September 22, 2014
The now-deceased Bashir gave ominous updates as Shekau, with his final released video declaring that the terrorists had formed a caliphate with the number of towns they had taken over in recent weeks.
Up until Bashir’s killing, it was thought that Bashir was indeed Shekau.
Meanwhile, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan recently told the UN Security Council, “Evidence has shown that Boko Haram is sourced largely from outside our country.”
“Only by united action and firm resolve can we check this urgent threat to humanity and also build the enduring structures that will resist their re-emergence.”