Nigerian defense dismisses change in Boko Haram leadership

Lagos, Aug 5 (IANS) Nigeria’s Defense Headquarters on Thursday dismissed the reported change in the leadership of the terrorist group Boko Haram.

In a statement made available to Xinhua in Lagos, Rabe Abubakar, the defense spokesperson, also said the change is irrelevant and inconsequential to the military’s operation in the north-east.

He said for now, the troops are focused on clearing the remnants of the insurgents scattered around the northeast.

The Islamic State militant group on Wednesday announced one Abu Musab Al-Barnawi as the new leader of the terror group in West Africa after Abubakar Shekau’s exit.

Al-Barnawi used to be the spokesperson of the group under Shekau.

IS did not say what happened to Shekau who has been out of the picture since 2015. Boko Haram in 2015 pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State militant group.

The Nigerian forces have been raiding militant camps and launching air and ground attacks on suspected hideouts of Boko Haram militants over the past months.

The sect seeks to enshrine the Islamic sharia law into the constitution and declares war against Western education.

–IANS

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