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ISWAP Confirms Shekau’s Death, Says He Blew Himself Up

The Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) has confirmed the death of former Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, saying he blew himself up after refusing to surrender when his hideout was invaded on Wednesday, May 19.

This was contained in a message from ISWAP leader, Abu Musab Albarnawi, whose recording was obtained by HumAngle, an online medium.

According to the HumAngle report, Abu Musab Albarnawi, in his address which was delivered in Hausa, described Shekau as the leader of disobedience and corruption, saying his fighters rejoiced over his death.

He said the former terrorist leader who took over after the death of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf in 2009, was apprehended “in the most humiliating manner.”

Albarnawi said: “This was someone who committed unimaginable terrorism. How many had he wasted? How many had he killed? How many had he terrorised? But Allah left him alone and prolonged his life. When it was time, Allah set out brave soldiers after receiving orders from Amirul Muminin (leader of the believers),” he said.

ISWAP, which broke away from Shekau’s Boko Haram faction in 2016, disagreed with the late extremist leader over his excessive use of force, especially on Muslims in areas under his influence.

According to Abu Musab Albarnawi, the interim leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) ordered them to take action on Shekau for deviating and killing “believers.”

ISWAP fighters then took their arms, travelled through the Sahara, went into Shekau’s enclave, and engaged in a gun battle with his followers.

He initially escaped and roamed the bushes of Sambisa for five days, where he suffered seriously. However, ISWAP fighters were able to locate him.

Abu Musab narrated how Shekau managed to run away a second time but was chased down. The rival fighters urged him and his followers to repent, assuring him that if the ISIS leader decided to make him their leader after he surrendered, they would have no choice but to obey.

He added: “Shekau preferred to be humiliated in the afterlife than getting humiliated on earth.”  He killed himself instantly by detonating an explosive, exactly as HumAngle reported a day after the incident.

Abu Musab urged ISWAP fighters in Lake Chad not to sit idly and watch a sub-faction of Boko Haram still loyal to Shekau invade their homes, kill and abduct their wives and children, and turn them into slaves.

He urged the rival terror group to choose dialogue against fighting; saying however that their end would be soon if they choose war and terrorism.

“Haven’t you seen what happened to your leader who had more strength, more experience than you, yet he was defeated?”, Abu Musab said.

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