Nigeria's army says killed ISIL new leader in W Africa

TEHRAN, Oct. 29 (MNA) – Nigeria's army said on Thursday it had killed the new leader of the ISIL branch in Africa (ISWAP) in a military operation this month, two weeks after announcing the death of the group's former head Abu Musab al-Barnawi.

ISWAP is an offshoot of the Boko Haram terrorist group that has been fighting against the Nigerian armed forces for over a decade.

The two militant groups later turned on each other.

The conflict, which has spilled into neighboring Chad and Cameroon, has left about 300,000 dead and millions dependent on aid, the United Nations says, according to Reuters.

Nigerian Army spokesman Brigadier Benard Onyuko said in a statement that Nigerian troops had conducted several land and air raids on suspected terrorist locations, during which ISWAP's new leader, Malam Bako, was killed.

"In the course of the operations within the period, a total of 38 terrorist elements were neutralized, including the ISWAP's new leader, Bako," Onyuko said without elaborating.

Bako's death could not be independently verified, and there was no immediate confirmation from ISWAP.

RHM/PR

News Code 180151

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