Chief of West African Terrorist Group Is Lifeless, Nigerian Military Says

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A key determine in a terrorist group that has destabilized the huge Lake Chad area in West-Central Africa is lifeless, the pinnacle of Nigeria’s armed forces has introduced.

The navy commander, Gen. Fortunate Irabor, stated on Thursday that he may “authoritatively verify’’ the dying of Abu Musab al-Barnawi, the chief of a jihadist group referred to as the Islamic State West Africa Province, or ISWAP. He didn’t present any additional particulars.

ISWAP is a splinter group of the higher identified Boko Haram, which has killed tens of hundreds of individuals, kidnapped schoolchildren and left tens of millions homeless throughout Nigeria and neighboring African international locations.

Mr. Barnawi, whose age was unknown, was the son of Mohammed Yusuf, Boko Haram’s founder.

Mr. Barnawi’s dying couldn’t be independently confirmed, and to many Nigerians, the navy chief’s assertion just isn’t conclusive proof of it. The nation’s military has beforehand claimed to have killed extremist leaders solely to have them flip up alive, typically in movies, at a later date.

Mr. Barnawi’s dying, if true, could be a blow to his group’s fortunes within the area. However it might not have an effect on the management construction. It has lengthy been unclear who actually runs his extremist drive.

The actual energy behind the crown was lengthy regarded as Mamman Nur, previously a part of the highest management within the authentic Boko Haram group. In northeastern Nigeria, ISWAP continues to be most sometimes called ‘‘the Mamman Nur faction’’ — that means a faction of Boko Haram versus the group led by Mr. Shekau.

Mamman Nur, nonetheless, is assumed to have died in 2018, and safety consultants within the area say it’s troublesome to know precisely who’s on the group’s helm now.

Abubakar Shekau, the longtime chief of Boko Haram, was reported to have died in Might, killing himself before he could be taken prisoner by Mr. Barnawi’s group.

ISWAP cut up from Boko Haram in 2016 and in recent times grew to be as highly effective as its dad or mum terrorist group, which left a decade-long path of dying, destruction and displacement throughout northeastern Nigeria and the broader Lake Chad area.

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