The leader of the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram has resurfaced in a new video rejecting the Nigerian army’s claim he had been “fatally wounded” in an air strike.
In a video dated 25 September, Abubakar Shekau mocked the army and spoke about the missing Chibok girls.
“You have been spreading in the social media that you injured or killed me,” Shekau says during the 40-minute video uploaded to YouTube on Sunday.
“Oh tyrants, I’m in a happy state, in good health and in safety.”
The Nigerian military said Shekau and other senior militants were hit by an air force strike as they gathered for prayers on Friday 23 August.
Sani Kukasheka Usman, a colonel and acting director of army public relations, said a number of commanders were confirmed dead in the strike, naming them as Abubakar Mubi, Malam Nuhu and Malam Hamman, and said Shekau was “believed to be fatally wounded on his shoulders”.
It is not the first time the Nigerian army has reported the death of Shekau, who led a breakaway faction of Boko Haram when the main bulk of the group declared allegiance to Isis.
His death was reported in 2013 and again in September 2014.
A month later, Shekau released a video saying: “Here I am, alive. I will only die the day Allah takes my breath.” The Nigerian army amended its report to say it believed a double for Shekau, going by the name Isa Damsaka, had been killed instead.