Is Shekau dead or just wounded?
After being reportedly killed on a few occasions with him ‘resurrecting’ thereafter, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau was, according to the Nigerian Army, ‘fatally wounded’ on Friday, barely a week after the release of a new video of the Chibok Girls.
But is the terror group leader truly dead?
“Those Boko Haram terrorists commanders confirmed dead include Abubakar Mubi, Malam Nuhu and Malam Hamman, amongst others. While their leader, so called “Abubakar Shekau”, is believed to be fatally wounded on his shoulders. Several other terrorists were also wounded,” the Nigerian Army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman said in a statement.
BREAKING NEWS: NIGERIAN AIR FORCE RAID KILLS BOKO HARAM TERRORISTS COMMANDERS… “ABUBAKAR SHEKAU” FATALLY WOUNDED!
— Nigerian Army (@HQNigerianArmy) August 23, 2016
A lot of international media have interpreted the portion of the Nigerian Army’s statement above to mean that Shekau has been killed in an airstrike. For instance, a Voice of America title says “Nigeria Claims Boko Haram Leader Killed in Airstrike” while Daily Mail’s more detailed title reads, “Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau ‘killed in air strike by Nigerian fighter jets along with other senior militants.” “Boko Haram leader killed in air strike,” The Independent of the UK says in its headline.
A section of the Nigerian media, however, is reporting the news a bit differently. “Nigerian military says Boko Haram leader, Shekau, wounded in deadly air strike,” says an online medium, Premium Times, while Vanguard says “Abubakar Shekau Wounded In NAF’s Sambia Raid”.
Business Day simply tweeted: “Nigeria’s military says it has seriously injured Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau and killed other commanders in an air strike.”
The confusion between what the international and Nigerian media are reporting is caused by the word ‘fatally’ used to describe the injuries sustained Shekau in the air strike.
When used in relation to injuries, fatally usually denotes death
But it is yet to be confirmed by the Nigerian military authorities if the injuries Abubakar Shekau sustained on his ‘shoulders’ were fatal or just serious.