THE Nigerian Military has insisted that the leader of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) Abu Musab al-Barnawi is dead.
Chief of Defense Staff Lucky Irabor confirmed his death on Thursday during a briefing in Abuja.
“I can authoritatively confirm to you that al-Barnawi is dead. As simple as that. He is dead and remains dead,” Irabor said.
However, he did not give further details on the circumstances that led to Al Barnawi’s death.
Director, Defence Information Benjamin Sawyerr also did not respond to inquiries from The ICIR over the death.
Al Barnawi was allegedly killed in August by troops of the Nigerian military but ISWAP has not confirmed his death.
Al Barnawi was named leader of ISWAP in 2016, following a breakout from the Boko Haram terrorist group.
The Boko Haram group was until May led by Abubakar Shekau who was said to have killed himself after he was surrounded by ISWAP fighters.
Many believe that the death of Shekau and Al Barnawi has led to the ongoing mass surrender of terrorists to the Nigerian military.
Acting Director of Media Operations Bernard Onyeuko said on Thursday that over 13,000 terrorists and their families surrendered to the military in two weeks.
Onyeuko said the surrendered terrorists comprised 3,243 adult males, 3,868 women and 6,232 children.
Also in September, Defence Headquarters said 2,700 terrorists and their families surrendered to its troops.
Terrorism and banditry have been some of the major security challenges that have plagued Nigeria most especially the Northern part of the country.
Terrorist activities by these groups have led to the death of more than 30,000 civilians and the destruction of several communities.