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Chad's President: Boko Haram Leader Must Surrender

FILE - Chad President Idriss Deby
FILE - Chad President Idriss Deby

The president of Chad says his forces know the location of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Nigerian insurgent group Boko Haram, and is calling on him to surrender or be killed.

President Idriss Deby spoke Wednesday in the Chadian capital, N'djamena, during a joint news conference with the visiting president of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou. Both leaders vowed that Boko Haram will be defeated, according to a summary of remarks released by the Chadian president's office.

Deby also said Shekau narrowly escaped when Chadian forces liberated the Nigerian town of Dikwa from Boko Haram on Tuesday. Deby said if Shekau does not surrender, Shekau will suffer the same fate as the insurgents who died in the town.

Chad, Niger and Cameroon deployed troops in January to help Nigeria battle Boko Haram and recapture the many towns seized by the group in Nigeria's Borno and Yobe states.

Nigeria's neighbors entered the war after the militants, who are purportedly fighting to impose Islamic law, seized a multinational base on the shores of Lake Chad.

The insurgents are blamed for thousands of deaths in Nigeria since launching their insurgency in 2009. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that hundreds of civilians were killed in Dikwa while Boko Haram had control of the town.

On Monday, Boko Haram released a video showing the beheading of two Nigerians the group accused of being spies.

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