The leader of the brutal Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram has released a marathon 40-minute video message denying he had been killed or seriously injured in a military air strike.
Abubakar Shekau taunted leaders by claiming they cannot kill him ‘until my time comes’ and appeared to insult one by saying he had ‘goat eyes’.
Boko Haram is notorious for its attacks on schools, kidnappings and suicide bombings, and last year pledged its allegiance to ISIS . Last month, Nigeria’s air force said it had killed senior members of the group and that Shekau had been wounded.
Shekau, whose age is unknown, was supposedly replaced as leader in August by Abu Musab al-Barnawi, first son of the group’s founder, but has maintained that he is still in charge.
In the lengthy video, posted to YouTube, he said: “To the tyrants of Nigeria in particular and the west of Africa in general, die in your anger and the news is not like as you claimed and as you distributed.
“You broadcast the news and published it in your media outlets that you injured me and killed me and here I am, telling you if God willing, you tyrants, I am fine and secured, if God willing, and nothing has hit me and I will not get killed until my time comes.”
The Nigerian military has said it has killed or critically wounded Shekau multiple times in recent years, often right before someone who says they are him shoots a video denying it.