Boko Haram leader on video

  • 26/09/2016

The purported leader of Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram has appeared in a video posted on social media to reject claims by the country's military that he has been seriously wounded.

Last month, Nigeria's air force said it had killed senior members of the group. It said leader Abubakar Shekau had been wounded.

The Nigerian military said it has killed or critically wounded Mr Shekau multiple times in recent years, often right before someone who says they are him shoots a video denying it.

While they all sport Shekau's distinctive beard, the grainy quality of the footage means it is not always possible to confirm if the person is the same as in the previous videos.

"You broadcast the news and published it in your media outlets that you injured me and killed me and here I am," said a man purporting to be Shekau in a video on Sunday addressed to "tyrants of Nigeria in particular and the west of Africa in general".

"I will not get killed until my time comes," he added, in the 40-minute video posted on YouTube delivered in Arabic and Hausa which is spoken widely in northern Nigeria.

Last month's announcement by the air force came days after Islamic State, to whom Boko Haram pledged allegiance last year, announced the appointment of a new leader of the West African group in an apparent rejection of Shekau.

Boko Haram has killed around 15,000 people and displaced more than two million in a seven-year insurgency aimed at creating a state adhering to strict Islamic laws.

It controlled a swathe of land in northeast Nigeria around the size of Belgium at the end of 2014 but was pushed out by Nigerian troops, aided by soldiers from neighbouring countries, early last year.