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Wednesday, 3 June 2015
Boko Haram Releases New Video, Shekau Fails To Appear in Video
The militant had in his hand what he said were ID cards of killed soldiers
Militant Islamists in Nigeria have
released a new video and, unusually, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau
fails to appear in it.
Instead, an unidentified young man speaks in the name of "The army of the caliphate in West Africa".
Mr Shekau's absence from the video has fuelled speculation about his fate.
least 13 people were killed on Tuesday in a bombing at a cattle market
in Maiduguri city, a former Boko Haram stronghold in north-eastern
In the 10-minute video, the speaker dismisses as a lie the Nigerian
military's assertion that it has recaptured all cities and towns from
He shows the identity cards of government troops
he says have been killed, and the wreckage of what he describes as a jet
that had been brought down.
BBC Nigeria analyst Naziru Mikailu says the video appears to be a genuine Boko Haram production.
fact that it was issued under the banner of "The army of the caliphate
in West Africa" reflects that the group is now allied with Islamic State
(IS) militants fighting for a global caliphate, he says.
However, Mr Shekau's absence from the video, and the failure to mention him, is surprising, our correspondent adds.
It suggests a split in Boko Haram or one of three other possibilities:
Mr Shekau has been wounded
He has been killed or
He has gone deep into hiding, making it difficult for him to appear in the video.
The speaker, who was carrying a rifle and whose face was
covered, said the video was shot in Sambisa, a vast forest surrounding a
The group controlled the forest, and was running
education projects - ranging from studies about Islam to technology -
for people under its rule, he said.
Meanwhile, Red Cross
officials said that at least 13 people were killed and 24 wounded in the
latest bombing in Maiduguri, the biggest city in north-eastern Nigeria.
The bomb went off in the abattoir section of the cattle market.
Overnight the militants fired grenades at people's homes in Maiduguri, reports the BBC's Nigeria correspondent Will Ross.
Last Saturday, 29 people were killed in Maiduguri when a mosque was bombed.
Nigeria's new President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim, has described Boko Haram as "mindless" and "godless".
He said the military command centre would be relocated to Maiduguri and remain there until the group was completely subdued.
is due to meet the presidents of neighbouring states later this week to
improve the regional military offensive against the jihadists.
1.5 million people have been displaced and hundreds more abducted since
the group launched their violent uprising in 2009.
More than 15,500 people have been killed in the fighting.