News / Africa

    Boko Haram Second-in-Command Killed in Nigeria

    In a April 12, 2012 screengrab, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau (C) is sitting flanked by militants. Nigeria's military said it had killed the second-in-command of Islamist group Boko Haram while repelling an insurgent attack.
    In a April 12, 2012 screengrab, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau (C) is sitting flanked by militants. Nigeria's military said it had killed the second-in-command of Islamist group Boko Haram while repelling an insurgent attack.
    Heather Murdock
    Nigerian security forces said they have killed Boko Haram's second-in-command and his father, who they accuse of indoctrinating child soldiers for the Islamist militant group. Security forces cannot agree on where or how he was killed.
     
    Nigerian security forces in Adamawa State on Tuesday announced that they killed Abubakar Zakaria Ya’u and Muhammed Bama in a gunfight.  Both men, they said, were wanted leaders of the militant group known as Boko Haram.
     
    But on Thursday, in a press conference in the city of Maiduguri, the original home of Boko Haram, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa said Momodu Bama - the local way of saying Muhammed Bama - was not killed in Adamawa, but in Borno state.

    Major attacks blamed on Nigeria's Boko Haram
     
    2009
    • July - Attacks prompt government crackdown in Bauchi and Maiduguri; 800 people killed
     
    2010
    • December - Bombings in central Nigeria and church attacks in the northeast kill 86
     
    2011
    • June - Attack on a bar in Maiduguri kills 25
    • August - Suicide bomber kills 23 at U.N. building in Abuja
    • November - Bombings in Damaturu and Potiskum kill 65
    • December - Christmas Day bombings across Nigeria kill 39
     
    2012
    • January -- Gun and bomb attacks in Kano kill up to 200
    • February - Maiduguri market attack kills 30
    • June - Suicide car bombings at three churches kill 21
    • July - Attacks in Plateau state kill dozens, including two politicians at a funeral for the victims
     
    2013
    • February - French family kidnapped in Cameroon, held hostage for two months
    • April - Fighting with troops in Baga kills up to 200; residents say troops set deadly fires
    • May - Attacks in Bama kill more than 50
    • July - Gunmen kill 30 at a school in Yobe
    • August - Gunmen kill 44 at a mosque outside Maiduguri
    • September - Gunmen kill 40 students a dorm in Yobe
    • October - Attack Yobe state capital Damaturu, clash with military in Borno state
    He said Bama was second only to Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, and calls him a "vicious and heartless" killer who planned "terrorist" operations.  He added that Bama was killed alongside his father, Abatcha Flatari, when Boko Haram members attacked a military base in the town of Bama.  Nearly 55 police and soldiers were killed in a battle at the same base in early May.
     
    A week after that attack Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States and sent thousands of troops on the offensive.  Since then the military says it has killed or arrested hundreds of Boko Haram members and reclaimed formerly occupied lands.
     
    But as Elizabeth Donnelly of the Africa Program at the London-based policy institute Chatham House sayid it’s hard to know who’s really winning.  

    The Boko Haram leadership structure is also unclear, she said, with some people claiming to be leaders only later to be denounced by Shekau, who portrays himself as the top leader.
     
    “In terms of how decision-making within that group plays out, in terms of actually defining its own motivations and its own end game, it’s not clear how that happens within the group.  It would certainly being the case that Shekau is a figurehead in the least,” added Donnelly.

    Borno State officials say Flatari, Bama’s father, was also killed in the battle at the military base.  They say Flatari was one of the group's "spiritual mentors" and accuse him of teaching kidnapped children violent extremism.

    In nearly four years of insurgency, Boko Haram has been blamed for thousands of deaths in attacks on churches, mosques, schools, media houses, government buildings, banks and the local U.N. headquarters.  Rights groups said security forces have also killed hundreds of people in their fight with Boko Haram and that they are often likely to shoot somebody before making an arrest.

    Abdulkareem Haruna contributed to this report from Maiduguri.

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Goodbye Ketchup, Hello Sriracha!

    How immigrants are triggering a great transformation in American cuisine

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora