October 4, 2013

We are still investigating whether Shekau is dead or alive – Army

Abuja – The Nigerian Army on Friday says it is still investigating the video clip posted by the suspected leader of Boko Haram sect, Abubkar Shekau, to determine whether he is alive or dead.

The Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, made the disclosure at a news conference in Abuja on the security situation in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, where the Federal Government had declared a state of emergency.

Attahiru said “the issue of whether Shekau is alive or dead, I want to reconfirm here that we needed to verify the video released by him.

“This verification has to be done by various sources, as there are technical sources that will look at the video to ascertain its authenticity or otherwise.

“So, we are still investigating the claim and as soon as we get the information, we will let the public know.’’

The Spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno, Lt.-Col. Saghir Musa, had in a statement in August said Shekau may have died after he sustained serious gunshot wounds in an encounter with the troops on June 30.

Musa said “intelligence report available to the JTF revealed that Abubakar Shekau, the most dreaded and wanted Boko Haram terrorist leader may have died.’’

However, in a recent video, Shekau claimed to be alive.

Meanwhile, the director of army public relations said military operations in the North East had continued to disrupt the terrorists’ activities and had denied them the freedom to act.

He said “several insurgent’s camps have been effectively neutralised.’’

Attahiru urged the people of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa to cooperate with the military by promptly reporting the presence of any suspected insurgents in their localities. (NAN)