Nigerian army says verifying credibility of Boko Haram video
27 September 2013, 08:15
Lagos - Nigeria's army said on Thursday it was trying to verify
the authenticity of a video that appeared to show Boko Haram's leader mocking
reports that he may have been killed.
A security task force last month said wanted Islamist
insurgent commander Abubakar Shekau "may have died" from a gunshot
wound after a clash with soldiers on 30 June.
In a video seen by AFP Wednesday, a man resembling past
images of Shekau taunted the regional military spokesman who suggested he had
"We cannot say at this juncture whether the claim is
true or false until we authenticate the veracity of the video," army spokesperson
Ibrahim Attahiru told AFP.
"The army authorities have to verify the claim. This is
precisely what we are doing," he said.
The initial statement concerning Shekau's possible death
came from a military spokesman based in the northeast, Boko Haram's stronghold.
National defence spokesperson Chris Olukolade has told AFP
that statement may have been issued prematurely and that the military lacked
definitive proof of Shekau's death.
Shekau has been declared a global terrorist by the United
States, which put a $7m bounty on his head.
He leads an Islamist group which has been blamed for scores
of deadly attacks across northern and central Nigeria.
It was not clear when or where the latest video was
recorded, but in it Shekau claims recent attacks in the northeast.
"I want the whole world to know that I'm alive by the
grace of Allah," he says in the Hausa language.
Boko Haram has said its four-year insurgency is aimed at
creating an Islamic state in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north.
Nigeria in mid-May imposed a state of emergency across most
of the restive northeast and launched an ongoing offensive aimed at crushing