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Boko Haram spokesperson killed after plot to oust leader

Boko Haram spokesperson killed after plot to oust leader

Nigeria

The leader of Boko Haram’s main faction, Abubakar Shekau, has admitted killing the group’s purported spokesperson over an apparent plot to oust him.

Shekau said he killed “Tasiu” – also known as Abu Zinnira in an audio recording obtained by AFP.

In the 50-minute tape of a meeting with the inner circle of his militant Islamist group, Shekau said it had been called to discuss “those elements grumbling over the killing of Tasiu”.

The tape, which AFP received earlier this month, appears to have been meant for circulation only within the armed Islamist movement.

Zinnira has acted on various occasion as the de facto spokesperson of the group and appeared in video recordings

Shekau’s claim appears to lend weight to reports of infighting within Boko Haram, whose insurgency has killed at least 20 000 in northeast Nigeria since 2009 and left 2.6 million homeless.

Nigeria’s military claims that the Islamist group is on the brink of defeat as a result of its counter-insurgency operations since early 2015.

The group however still carries sporadic attacks and suicide bombings

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