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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More