Barnawi is the son of the founder of Nigeria’s Boko Haram militant group, which has been driving a crushing insurgency in northeast Nigeria since 2009.

Security forces patrol in Jangebe, Zamfara, Nigeria on March 3, 2021.
Security forces patrol in Jangebe, Zamfara, Nigeria on March 3, 2021. (Reuters Archive)

The leader of the Daesh West Africa Province group, Abu Musab al Barnawi, is dead, Nigeria's top military commander has said.

The group has not given any confirmation of Barnawi's death and Nigeria's army has claimed before to have killed the group's commanders only for them to reappear.

"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 General Lucky Irabor told reporters.

He did not give details on how or when Barnawi had died.

Barnawi is the son of the founder of Nigeria's Boko Haram militant group which has been fighting a grinding insurgency in northeast Nigeria since 2009.

The group's commander rose to prominence after splitting with Boko Haram in 2016 over differences with its commander Abubakar Shekau, who died earlier this year during infighting between the two factions.

Since Shekau's death, security sources say, Barnawi had consolidated the group's control in Nigeria's northeast and the Lake Chad region but pockets of Boko Haram loyalists have been fighting back.

More than 40,000 people have died in Nigeria's conflict and around two million more people have been displaced from their homes by the violence.

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Source: AFP