Abubakar Shekau appears in new video to say fighters are safe, rebutting victory claims by Nigeria’s president and army.
Now in its eighth year, the fighting in northeastern Nigeria has shown little sign of respite.
Boko Haram, known for its contempt of Western education, has attacked schools, churches and mosques and used children as “suicide” bombers in its bid to establish an “Islamic state” in the country’s northeastern region.
At least 20,000 people have been killed, thousands of others maimed in a horrific showdown between Boko Haram and Nigeria’s military in towns and villages since 2010. Thousands of others have been abducted, and remain unaccounted for. The 2014 abduction of the 276 Chibok schoolgirls led to international outrage and condemnation.
In early May 2017, the group released some 82 schoolgirls who had been abducted from Chibok in 2014 after almost two years of negotiations.
The Nigerian military has repeatedly claimed to be winning the war against the group, but with severe restrictions on communication and media, it is impossible to independently verify their claims.