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Allegedly Dead Nigerian Militant Appears in Video

Boko Haram's second-in-command, Abubakar Shekau, flanked by militants in screengrab of April 2012 video shot in unknown location.
A Nigerian militant leader who government forces claimed to have killed last month has apparently resurfaced in a video.

Abubakar Shekau, the self-declared leader of Islamist militant group Boko Haram, is seen in the video kneeling on a rug surrounded by armed and masked supporters, all dressed in military fatigues.

Speaking in Hausa, he says, "Here I am, talking and laughing at Nigerian authorities who misled the world that I am dead."

Nigerian authorities have not said the video is authentic but sources familiar with previous Boko Haram videos say the man speaking appears to be Shekau.

In the video, Shekau claims responsibility for a Boko Haram attack on the town of Benisheik. Nigerian officials say more than 140 people were killed when militants attacked the town in Borno state on September 17.

That would be well after early August, the time when Nigeria's military Joint Task Force said Shekau died from injuries suffered in battle.

VOA obtained the video this week through a reporter in the city of Maiduguri, where Boko Haram originated, a copy of which has been made available via Agence France-Presse.

The militant group is blamed for thousands of deaths in Nigeria over the past four years. The group says it is fighting to impose a strict form of Islamic law on Muslim-majority northern Nigeria.