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President Idriss Deby of Chad said on Wednesday he knew the whereabouts of Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, and called on him to surrender or be killed.
Chad’s army has waged a series of battles against Boko Haram as part of a cross-border military campaign and has re-taken territory the militant group held in northeastern Nigeria.
“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,” Deby told a news conference.
“He was in Dikwa two days ago. He managed to get away but we know where he is. It’s in his interests to surrender,” Deby said, referring to a town in northeastern Nigeria held by Boko Haram that fell to Chad’s army earlier this week.
Nigeria’s presidency declined to comment on Deby’s remarks and a defense spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Nigeria’s military has said on at least three occasions it had killed Shekau, or a man claiming to be him. Each time the leader has resurfaced to issue a fresh jihadist video, one of numerous videos the group has made.