18th March, 2017
Abubakar Shekau, leader of Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram, has denied in a video posted on Friday that 5,000 people held by the group had been freed by West African forces earlier in the week.
On Wednesday, Cameroon said regional forces had rescued the hostages, who were held in villages by the jihadist group, in an operation along the Nigeria-Cameroon border.
“You are telling lies that you killed 60 of our men and rescued 20 children, and that you rescued 5,000 of your people, Paul Biya,” said the man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, referring to Cameroon’s president.
“Paul Biya, is it that you can’t live off lies? Is it with this that you are going to convince the West, your leaders? It is unfortunate. Be careful, Paul Biya.”
He also claimed responsibility for attacks earlier this week which included suicide bombings in the city of Maiduguri and a raid on the town of Magumeri, both of which are in the northeast Nigerian state of Borno.
Shekau also said that the caliphate he declared in August 2014 “is running smoothly,” apparently in a bid to rubbish reports that the terror sect has lost much of the territory it used to hold in the Northeast, especially the Sambisa Forest that once served as its base.
Nigeria’s military has said on multiple occasions in the last few years that it has killed or wounded Shekau.