The Islamic State West Africa Province has confirmed that Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau is dead.

In an audio recording obtained by news agencies, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) said Shekau died detonating explosives on himself after a battle between the two groups.

A voice said to be that of ISWAP leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi, was heard saying that Shekau “killed himself instantly by detonating an explosive” after being hunted down and offered a chance to repent and join the ISIS-linked group.

He added that “Shekau preferred to be humiliated in the afterlife than getting humiliated on earth.”

The audio statement is ISWAP’s first confirmation that its arch rival in the Lake Chad region has been killed. It is also speculated to be an end of a violent rivalry between the two groups, enabling Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) to absorb Boko Haram fighters and consolidate its hold on territory in northeastern Nigeria.

ISWAP was previously part of Boko Haram before its split five years ago, pledging allegiance to Islamic State. The schism was caused by religious ideological disagreements over the killing of civilians by Boko Haram, to which ISWAP objected.

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