Nigerian soldiers killed radical Islamist leader, government saysNigeria’s Defence Ministry says Momodu Bama, second-in-command of radical Islamist sect Boko Haram, was killed by soldiers in a gun battle.Published on Wed Aug 14 2013
MAIDUGURI/YOLA—Nigerian soldiers have killed the second-in-command of the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram, which is involved in an insurgency that has caused the deaths of thousands in the last three years, the Defence Ministry said Wednesday.
It said Momodu Bama, who had a 25 million naira ($155,400) bounty on his head, was killed along with 17 other members of the sect during clashes with the military on Aug. 4 in Bama, a town in northeast Borno state.
“Momodu Bama has been personally leading the attacks against troops and innocent citizens in the communities of Yobe and Adamawa,” the ministry said in a statement. “A specialist in manning the anti-aircraft guns of the group, he is known to be vicious and heartless with a penchant for personally slaughtering and executing his victims.”
The ministry said Bama was identified by other arrested militants.
Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau, who is the only visible member of the group owing to his appearing on Internet videos, says the army lies about victories over his fighters.
The military has announced the killing of senior members of the sect before, notably a spokesman called Abu Qaqa, only for a person using the same name to say he had not been killed.
Boko Haram, which wants to impose sharia law in Nigeria’s north, as well as other spinoff Islamist groups, have become the biggest threat to stability in Africa’s top oil exporter.
The group’s name roughly translates as “Western education is forbidden.”
In mid-May, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency and launched an offensive against the group in its stronghold in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in the northeast.
The insurgency was initially weakened but remains active.
Last Sunday, gunmen suspected of belonging to Boko Haram killed at least 44 people and wounded 36 after an attack during early prayers at a mosque in northeast Borno state.
Boko Haram’s main targets are security forces or government officials but it has carried out several attacks on Christian and Muslim worshippers, as well as schools and markets.http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/08/14/nigerian_soldiers_killed_radical_islamist_leader_government_says.html