Nigeria: Troops Killed Man Acting as Boko Haram Leader

This file image made available from Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2012, taken from video posted by Boko Haram sympathizers shows Imam Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the radical Islamist sect. Boko Haram militants dressed as soldiers slaughtered at least 200 civilians in three villages in northeastern Nigeria and the military failed to intervene even though it was warned that an attack was imminent, witnesses said on Thursday, June 5, 2014. (AP Photo/File)

(CNN) — Nigerian forces battling the Islamist terror group Boko Haram have killed a man suspected of acting as the group’s leader, Nigeria’s Defense Ministry said.

The soldiers and Boko Haram militants clashed several times in the past week in communities around the city of Maiduguri in the country’s northeastern Borno state, the ministry’s statement said.

“In the course of those encounters, one Mohammed Bashir who has been acting or posing on videos as the deceased Abubakar Shekau, the eccentric character known as leader of the group, died,” it said.

“Since the name Shekau has become a brand name for the terrorists’ leader, the Nigerian military remains resolute to serve justice to anyone who assumes that designation or title.”

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