The Nigerian Military on Saturday said it has killed one of the leaders of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) – the Boko Haram factional group believed to have abducted Leah Sharibu.
A statement from the Nigerian Army (NA) on Saturday revealed that the ISWAP media chief, Ahmad Sale, was killed in an operation by troops in conjunction with personnel of the Nigerian Air Force.
“Reports available reveal that one Sale Ahmad Sale a. k. a. Baban Hassan, the leader of Al-Barnawi media group, a faction of Boko Haram was killed by a joint operation conducted by the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Air Force,” it said.
The Army added, “The killing of the media leader is indicative of efforts by the NA to eliminate key members of the sect.
“It is worthy to note that the sect is directly affiliated to the Islamic State and has carried out several attacks against own troops and innocent civilians in the past.”
The Army stressed that the death of the group’s media leader has shown that the leadership of the terrorist group was being targeted successfully by the military.
It assured Nigerians that other key members of the group would soon be apprehended or killed, thus decimating the terrorists and their activities in the country.
The Army disclosed further that it has identified the new leader of another terrorist group – Jama’atu Nus’ratul-Islami Wal-Muslimina, Abul-Fadl Iyad Gali.
“The group is a new terrorist group which Ansaru is affiliated to. In the same vein, the identification of the leader of Jama’atu Nus’ratul-Islami Wal-Muslimina group would enable the NA to target the group effectively using advanced technologies in its arsenal,” it said.
According to the Army, the existence of the group portends grave danger to the nation’s security.
The factional group Boko Haram had abducted Leah Sharibu and over 100 students from the Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi, Yobe State in February this year.
The Federal Government was subsequently able to regain freedom for most of the abducted girls and the insurgents brought back the girls to the community in March after spending four weeks in captivity.
Although they, however, kept Leah back in captivity reportedly for refusing to renounce her faith.