Army confirms ISWAP leader, Al-Barnawi, dead
Over 13,000 B’Haram terrorists submitted in N’East, says DHQ
Leader of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), Abu Musab al-Barnawi, is dead, Nigeria’s top military commander said yesterday.
But ISWAP has not confirmed al-Barnawi’s death.
“I can authoritatively confirm to you that al-Barnawi is dead. As simple as that. He is dead and remains dead,” Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, told reporters. He, however, did not give details of al-Barnawi’s death.
Under al-Barnawi, ISWAP became the dominant jihadist force in Nigeria, striking frequently at troops in an insurgency that has killed more than 40,000 persons since it begun in 2009.
His loss would be big blow to ISWAP’s structure, just as it was consolidating since the reported death of rival Boko Haram commander, Abubakar Shekau, during infighting between the factions, earlier this year.
But since splitting with Boko Haram in 2016, the group has shown its resilience and carried out large-scale ambushes on the military.
HOWEVER, no fewer than 13,243 terrorists, their families and collaborators have surrendered to troops, while over 74 of them have been killed by the military in various spots in the North East.
Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, stated this, yesterday, while briefing newsmen on the operational breakthroughs of the military in the last two weeks.
Onyeuko noted that the operational activities of troops across the country in the weeks under review yielded results, while several efforts were being made to forestall impending security threats.
“Troops of Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) sustained aggressive posture with vigour in the North East, which yielded significant results. The series of land and air operations conducted in different locations across the North East theatre have reduced the operational capabilities of the insurgents. Within the period, several terrorist elements were neutralised and others arrested alongside their informants and logistics suppliers.
“Consequently, more terrorists have continued to lay down their arms and surrender to our troops with their families, as they could no longer withstand the offensive operations within the theatre.”