US Government Probes Shekau’s Death Report

Government of the United States  has initiated a probe into the report that claimed the death of Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.This move by the US is  in a bid to authenticate the claim by the Joint Task Force (JTF), which had on Monday announced Shekau ‘s possible death following gunshot injuries he sustained in a clash with Nigerian troops. This is coming after disbelief from people home and abroad welcomed the announcement of Sheakau’s death.

US State Department Deputy spokesperson,  Ms. Marie Harf,  while responding to a question  in Washington DC on Tuesday on whether US had any information about the possible death of Shekau, said: “We have seen these reports and (we) are working to ascertain the facts.”

US last year had labelled Shekau and two other prominent figures in the sect as “specially designated global terrorists” and followed up in June by announcing a $23 million reward for anyone who could help track down five leaders of deadly militant groups spreading terror in West Africa with the highest sum of $7 million placed on Shekau’s  head.

Harf who commented Sheakau’s death described him as the most visible leader of Boko Haram, adding, “if his death – it turns out to be true, the loss of such a central and well known figure would set back Boko Haram’s operations and remove a key voice from its efforts to mobilise violent extremists in Nigeria and around the world.”

She however added that that was not the first time the Boko Haram leader would be declared dead, stating that, “as many of you know, he was also falsely reported dead in 2009.”

Harf added that the US would continue to support Nigeria in its battle against terrorism in the country.


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