Abubakar Shekau, the dreaded Boko Haram is dead.
Shekau, who Nigerian Government claimed has died a number of times before now was reported to have killed himself and others after detonating a suicide vest, according to a report by HumAngle.
The newspaper which focuses on conflict reporting said his death, Wednesday evening followed the invasion of the terror group’s stronghold in the Sambisa forest area by a column of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters.
ISWAP a faction of the Boko Haram terror group that broke away in 2016 following its allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), attacked Boko Haram’s base in Sambisa forest.
Shekau’s enclave was tracked down by ISWAP using its forces based in the Timbuktu Triangle. His fighters were killed in the process, followed by a long gunfire exchange between the invading group and Shekau’s bodyguards.
According to the HumAngle report, after Shekau’s bodyguards were subdued, he surrendered and engaged in an hours-long meeting with the ISWAP fighters. During the parley, he was asked to voluntarily relinquish power and order his fighters in other areas to declare bai’a (allegiance) to ISWAP’s authority. They had expected Shekau to issue a statement.
Sources within the insurgency, however, said that Shekau who secretly had a suicide vest on eventually blew himself up alongside everyone present during the negotiations.
The identities of the people within ISWAP’s leadership who lost their lives to the explosion remain unclear at this time.
Shekau had been the leader of Boko Haram since 2009 following the death of the group’s founder, Mohammed Yusuf. He had been rumoured to have been killed at least four times between July 2009 and Aug. 2015. In Aug. 2016, the Nigerian Air Force claimed he had been “fatally wounded” by military bombardments, but the terror group released a video only a month later showing he was alive and in good health.