Nigeria, new Isis leader killed in West Africa

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The Nigerian authorities have announced the killing of Malam Bako: the new leader of the Islamic State in West Africa (Iswap), the division that includes all the militias linked to ISIS in the region.

Bako’s elimination comes about a week after that of his predecessor at the top of the jihadist group, Abu Musab al Barnaui. Iswap, which began as a split of the terrorist organization Boko Haram, has claimed hundreds of victims in Nigeria and neighboring countries. His position was confirmed after the elimination of the leader of Boko Haram itself, Abubakar Shekau.

Reporting on Bako’s elimination was Nigeria’s national security adviser Babagana Monguno, underlining that the jihadist group is beset by leadership crises and pressure from the security forces. Monguno added that Bako died along with a group commander. ISWAP has not yet confirmed the death of its leader.

The other leaders eliminated by the security forces

Nigerian Army Chief of Staff Lucky Irabor announced on October 14 the death of Al Barnaui, son of Mohamed Yusuf, founder of the jihadist formation Boko Haram, without providing further details. His killing, reports the Nigerian newspaper “Daily Trust”, dates back to the end of August. The operation took place in the Sambisa forest, the same stronghold of Boko Haram where the death of Shekau himself took place. His killing favored a transfer of forces from Boko Haram itself to Iswap, in addition to a quota of militiamen who opted for complete withdrawal.

According to the Nigerian military forces, the death of Shekau alone would have led to the surrender of 6 thousand militants, hostile to the passage in Iswap or forced to join the formation under the Shekau regikme. The two groups are in rivalry, even if they move against different goals. Boko Haram predominantly affects the civilian population, including in the form of mass kidnappings. Iswap focuses on military and citizens accused of collaborating with soldiers.

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Nigeria Isis leader killed West Africa

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