Abuja: Nigerian military on Monday said that the leader of extremist Islamic group Boko Haram may have died due to injuries sustained during clashes with security forces in Sambisa Forest in Northern Nigeria`s state of Borno.
Lt. Col. Musa Sagir, the spokesman of the military, quoted intelligence report as saying that Boko Haram chief Shekau may have died between July 25 and August 3.
"Shekau was mortally wounded in the encounter and was sneaked into Amitchide - a border community in Cameroon for treatment," Sagir said, adding that a recent video on Shekau was not real but dramatised by one of his followers to hoodwink the sect members and the public.
On August 14, the army had announced the death of Shekau`s second-in-command, Momodu Bama, whom it claimed to have killed during a raid.
Angered by the terrorist activities of Shekau and his sect, the US had placed a bounty of USD 7 million on his head.
More than 2,000 people have beeen killed since 2009 when Shekau inherited the leadership of the sect from its founder, Muhammed Yusuf who was killed in police custody.
In May, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three out of the 36 states in a bid to stop the insurgency.
Boko Haram has vowed to introduced an Islamic system in most or if possible all parts of Nigeria by force.
It says that it detests all forms of Western education and wants Nigerian Christians, who make up 50 per cent of the oil rich country`s 150 million people, to convert to Islam.