Search Here

Custom Search

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Boko Haram claims victory over Nigerian Army

The leader of Islamist extremist group Boko
Haram claims in a video obtained by AFP on
Tuesday that Nigerian soldiers have retreated
during an ongoing military offensive and
insurgents have sustained little damage.
The video marks the first public comments from
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau since the
start of a sweeping offensive by the Nigerian
army on May 15 and also includes a call for
foreign Islamists to join the fight in Nigeria.
A video grab made on March 21, 2013 from a
video distributed to reporters by purported
intermediaries of the Islamist group linked to Al-
Qaeda, Boko Haram, shows the suspected leader
of the Nigerian Islamist group linked to Al-Qaeda,
Boko Haram, Imam Abu Muhammad Ibn
Muhammad Abubakar Ash Shekawi, also known
as Abubakar Shekau, at an undisclosed location
in Nigeria. AFP
A video grab made on March 21, 2013 from a
video distributed to reporters by purported
intermediaries of the Islamist group linked to Al-
Qaeda, Boko Haram, shows the suspected leader
of the Nigerian Islamist group linked to Al-Qaeda,
Boko Haram, Imam Abu Muhammad Ibn
Muhammad Abubakar Ash Shekawi, also known
as Abubakar Shekau, at an undisclosed location
in Nigeria. AFP
Shekau's whereabouts cannot be determined in
the video, in which he is shown seated while
dressed in camouflage with a turban, an AK-47 at
his side.
His comments contradict statements from the
military, which has claimed major successes
during the offensive, including the destruction of
Boko Haram camps and dozens of arrests.
It has been impossible to verify the claims of
either side independently, with the military
having cut mobile phone service in much of the
country's northeast and access to remote
locations restricted.
"Since we started this ongoing war which they
call state of emergency … in some instances
soldiers who faced us turned and ran," Shekau
said in the hour-long video.
He claimed Nigerian forces "threw down their
arms in flight."
He called on like-minded Islamists in countries
including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq to join
the fight to create an Islamic state in Nigeria.
"We call to us our brethren in these countries I
mentioned. Oh! Our brethren, come to us," he
said in the video, which alternates between
Arabic and the Hausa language spoken across
northern Nigeria.
The video later purports to show vehicles and
weapons seized from Nigerian soldiers.
Shekau, designated a global terrorist by the
United States last year, repeats earlier
statements that Boko Haram "will not stop the
kidnap of your women and children until you set
free our women and children, and our brethren."
He also says Boko Haram's goal is either the
creation of an Islamic state or "martyrdom".
The video was delivered to AFP though an
intermediary in a manner similar to previous
Boko Haram messages. The images of Shekau in
the video are consistent with those previously
released.
Nigeria launched the offensive against Boko
Haram after President Goodluck Jonathan
declared a state of emergency in three states in
the country's northeast, the Islamist insurgents'
stronghold.
Several thousand troops were deployed and
fighter jets hit alleged Boko Haram camps.
On May 20, the military said it had re-established
control in five remote areas of the northeast
where Islamist insurgents had seized territory.
It had also claimed the arrests of 120 suspected
insurgents.
The military's latest statement says 25
insurgents were arrested and three killed during
operations at the weekend, including one
identified as "Abba" included on a most-wanted
list. One soldier was also killed, it said.
"Troops of the special forces have intercepted
messages sent to fleeing insurgents urging them
not to give up but fight to the end," the
statement said.
"The attempt by some of them to heed the call
was foiled during the weekend as they were
trailed to some settlements and towns towards
the border where they plan to regroup."
Last week, the military also said it had freed
three women and six children abducted by Boko
Haram.
Nigeria's government has also pledged to release
certain suspects held in connection with the
insurgency as a peace gesture, including all
women and children.
Boko Haram has waged its insurgency since
2009, with an estimated 3,600 people left dead,
including killings by the security forces.
The group has pushed for the creation of an
Islamic state in Africa's most populous nation and
largest oil producer, though its demands have
repeatedly shifted.
It is believed to include various factions with
differing aims.
Nigeria's military has come under heavy criticism
over its response to Boko Haram, including
allegations of extra-judicial killings, arbitrary
arrests and unlawful detentions.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Kindly Drop your comments to know how you feel, Thanks

Visits

Share

Infolinks