Chadian President, Idriss Deby on Wednesday said that he knew the whereabouts of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the militant group Boko Haram, and further called on him to surrender or risk being killed.
Chad’s army, as part of a cross-border military campaign, has waged a series of battles against Boko Haram, that helped recover territories the militant group held captive in north-east Nigeria.
Speaking to journalists after a regional meeting, Deby said “Abubakar Shekau must surrender. We know where he is. If he doesn’t give himself up, he will suffer the same fate as his compatriots.” he told a news conference after a regional meeting.
The Chadian President also said Shekau was in Dikwa (a town in north-eastern Nigeria held by Boko Haram) two days earlier before the regional meeting, stating that he managed to get away but he (Deby) knew his whereabouts, and later stressed that “it is in his interests to surrender”.
A bomb planted and remotely detonated by Boko Haram militants near the southeastern Niger town of Diffa killed two soldiers and wounded a third on Wednesday, military sources said.
It was the first time Niger’s army has reported being attacked with such a device since it launched a campaign with Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria this year against the Islamist group.
The Boko Haram terrorist group has killed thousands it its bid to set up an Islamist state in its heartland of northeast Nigeria. It has also launched a series of cross-border incursions in recent months into Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
“We had two soldiers killed on Wednesday in a remote-controlled explosion. We took up the chase and killed the two militants responsible for the attack” near a bridge over the Kamadougou river, a officer from Niger said.
In a separate attack, armed men on a motorbike killed at least two people in Kerawa, in the Far North region of Cameroon, on Tuesday around 2 p.m. (1300 GMT), according to a Cameroon army officer who declined to be identified.
“We think it was a revenge killing. We suspect that a deal went wrong between the two people who were killed and Boko Haram. That’s the only way to explain their presence in that frontier zone,” the officer said.
Chad’s army, considered one of the best in the region and backed by a strong air force, first deployed to help Cameroon fend off Boko Haram and is now pressing southwest into Nigerian territory after re-capturing the border town of Gambaru last month.