Nigeria says several senior Boko Haram leaders killed in air strike
News of the raid, which was carried out on 19 August, came as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the northern Nigerian city of Sokoto for bilateral talks on how to combat the militants, who have been fighting to establish an Islamic state in the country’s north.
“We have just confirmed that as a result of the interdiction efforts of the Nigerian Air Force, some key leaders of the Boko Haram terrorists have been killed while others were fatally wounded,” Military spokesman Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman said in a statement.
“[Boko Haram’s leader] Abubakar Shekau is believed to be fatally wounded on his shoulders,” the statement added.
Boko Haram did not comment on the claims, although the military has wrongly claimed to have killed Shekau on at least five previous occasions.
The attack was understood to have occurred during while the men were at prayers in the remote Taye village, the Sambisa forest in Borno State, in northeast Nigeria.
Nigeria’s military said they had confirmed that senior Boko Haram leaders Abubakar Mubi, Malam Nuhu and Malam Hamman were killed.
The US had blocked sales of aircraft to Nigeria during the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan over his administration’s poor human rights record.
But since President Muhammadu Buhari took office last year, US officials have moved to sell as many as 12 light attack aircrafts to the country, according to Reuters.