Abuja: Nigeria`s military has killed a top Boko Haram commander, who had shot dead a former army general, in a "major offensive" in the northeastern city of Maiduguri.
"During the offensive and in a counter-attack, a major commander of the Boko Haram terrorist sect commanding the northwest and the northeast, Ibn Saleh Ibrahim, with some of his commanders and foot soldiers, were killed by operation troops," a military statement said of yesterday`s operation.
"The late Ibn Saleh was confirmed to be responsible for the recent assassination of Civil War hero, the late General Mamman Shuwa, through the orders of the leader of the Boko Haram terrorists, Abubakar Shekau," it added.
79-year-old Shuwa was a top commander with the federal troops during the Biafra and Nigeria civil war in the 60s.
The Joint Task Force said the operation that led to his assassin`s death is ongoing.
JTF said the man was killed in a major offensive.
According to the military, the slain terrorist, Ibn Saleh, commands northeast and northwest operations of Boko Haram.
His command extends to the Maiduguri city, the capital of northern Borno State where the sect has its strongest followers, the military said.
Boko Haram sect has been carrying out a series of killings in the northern region since 2009 when its leader was killed extra-judicially by the police.
Military puts the number of people killed so far at 3000.
The sect says it wants to establish Islamic Sharia rule in the north but recently promised to hold talks with the Nigerian government under its own conditions.
It wants a former military dictator, Muhammadu Buhari to mediate and for the talks to be held in Saudi Arabia.
Buhari has declined participation in the negotiation.
Nigeria`s 150 million people is roughly divided equally among Christians and Muslims.
Muslims are predominant in the north while Christians are mostly found in the South.