Intelligence intercepted by a Nigerian security agency has revealed how the longest-reigning leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, died in a battle with rival ISWAP in Sambisa forest.
Speculations about Mr Shekau’s death were rife since Wednesday evening, but multiple inside sources and intels gathered by a Nigerian security agency apparently confirmed the death.
The intel, sighted by DAILY NIGERIAN, revealed conversations between top fighters of the group who witnessed the death of the dreaded terrorist leader.
According to the intel transcript sighted by DAILY NIGERIAN, ISWAP top commander Baana Duguri informed ISWAP logistics commander Modu Sulum that they killed Mr Shekau.
Giving the details of the incident, Mr Duguri disclosed that fierce gunbattle ensued when the ISWAP fighters surrounded Mr Shekau and his team.
Mr Duguri revealed further that Mr Shekau detonated a bomb and killed himself when he observed that the ISWAP fighters wanted to capture him alive.
According to the intel, Mr Duguri informed Mr Sulum that the two sides also lost some fighters during the shooting.
More than 40,000 people have been killed and over two million displaced from their homes by the conflict in northeast Nigeria, and fighting has spread to parts of neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
Boko Haram and ISWAP have fought battles for control of territory in the past.
ISWAP has emerged as the stronger force, carrying out complex attacks on the military and overrunning army bases.
Shekau took over Boko Haram, formally known as the Jama’tu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, after its founder Muhammad Yusuf was killed by police in 2009.
Under Shekau’s leadership, Boko Haram turned large swathes of the northeast into a no-go territory, proclaiming a “caliphate” in the Borno town of Gwoza in 2014.