THE Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Restore Order, in Borno State Monday explained how Boko Haram leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau was killed.
He said that he died of gunshot wounds he sustained in an encounter with the Special Military Operation Forces (SMOF) at the Sambisa Games Forest Reserve in the state. The area in which the training camps and hideouts of the terrorist were located, is 55 kilometres southeast of Maiduguri, the state capital.
The announcement of Shekau’s killing was contained in a statement of JTF spokesman, Lt.-Col Sagir Musa which was made available to reporters in Maiduguri on Monday. According to Musa, Shekau died at an undisclosed hospital in Amitchide, a Camerounian border town with Nigeria.
The statement reads in part: “Intelligence report available to the Joint Task Force Operation Restore Order revealed that Abubakur Shekau, the most dreaded and wanted Boko Haram terrorist leader may have died. He died of gunshot wounds sustained in an encounter with the JTF troops in one of their camps at Sambisa Forest on 30 June 2013. It added that: “Shekau was mortally wounded in the encounter and sneaked into Amitchide – a border community in Cameroun for treatment which he never recovered from. It is greatly believed that Shekau might have died on 25 July to 3 August, 2013.”
On Shekau’s role in terrorist activities in Borno State, the statement said: “The sect leader was reported to have masterminded the kidnap of the seven French citizens and that of the elder statesman Alhaji (Dr) Shettima Ali Monguno in addition to many murders of Islamic clerics in Northern Nigeria.
“He was also responsible for bombings of many places of worship and public buildings including police and United Nations Headquarters in Abuja.”
Musa added: “The recent video released on 13 August, 20013 by the purported sect leader was dramatized by an imposter to hoodwink the sect members to continue with terrorism and to deceive the undiscerning minds. The JTF wishes to appeal to the sect members to lay down their arms and embrace the Federal Government’s offer for dialogue.”
On the capture and killing of his deputy, Momodu Bama, the spokesman also said: “Intelligence report has indicated that as of today or before he was killed, he assumed the position of second-in-command to Shekau. We have seen him on a video clip, slaughtering people, including policemen and few security agents “Bama was combative and did not believe in negotiating and dialoguing with the Federal Government. Not only was that, he thought he was infallible. And he was also thinking that nothing could happen to him...”