During clashes with rival Islamic State-allied jihadists in northern Nigeria, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is said to have suffered serious injuries after attempting suicide to escape capture.
On Thursday, one intelligence source said, “Shekau shot himself in the chest and the bullet pierced his shoulder.”
Shekau has been declared dead on many occasions.
His Boko Haram faction has been fighting for territory control with fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
On Wednesday, ISWAP jihadists surrounded Shekau and his men in Boko Haram’s Sambisa forest stronghold, according to the source.
Shekau was seriously injured, according to another intelligence source, after detonating explosives in the house where he was holed up with his men.
The Nigerian Army did not respond to AFP requests for clarification of the incident right away.
After its founder Muhammad Yusuf was killed by police in 2009, Shekau took control of Boko Haram, formally known as the Jama’tu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad.
A rival party, enraged by Shekau’s indiscriminate targeting of civilians and use of women and children as suicide bombers, split off in 2016 to form ISWAP, which has the support of the Islamic State.