World Bulletin/News Desk
A man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has appeared in a new video, contradicting Nigerian military reports that he was killed, French news agency AFP reported on Thursday.
Screen grabs of the video, seen by Reuters, show a figure in boots and combat fatigues who looks similar to the man claiming to be Shekau in previous videos.
"Here I am, alive. I will only die the day Allah takes my breath," he says in the northern Hausa language, reported the news agency, which normally receives Boko Haram tapes first, before they are distributed online.
Nigeria's military said last week that the man who had been posing as Shekau in the group's growing number of videos had been killed in clashes over the town of Konduga.
The military announced the death of Shekau himself a year ago, saying he had died in battle.
After that, the man appearing in videos as Shekau did look different from before, with a wider nose, less defined bridge and a rounder face.
In the most recent video, Shekau says "nothing will kill me until my days are over ... Some people asked you if Shekau has two souls. No, I have one soul, by Allah," AFP said.
Boko Haram has killed thousands and in the past two months progressed from bombings, raids and kidnappings to trying to seize territory.
The military has had mixed results trying to push back the militants, and low morale, indiscipline and poor equipment have hurt its ability to fight effectively.
Nigeria's military court martialled 97 of its troops for various offenses on Thursday, including mutiny, assault, absconding, house breaking and disorderly behaviour, it said.
The president of the court-martial, Brigadier General Musa Yusuf, did not explicitly state that the trials related to soldiers' conduct in a war against Boko Haram, but the troops were all serving in Maiduguri in the northeast, epicentre of the conflict.
Low morale there has led to a series of desertions and at least one mutiny. A security source said some soldiers had refused to board a bus to a combat deployment.
Nigeria's military authorities last month sentenced 12 soldiers to death by firing squad for mutiny in the northeastern region.
Troops have also been repeatedly accused by human rights groups of abuses including killing civilians and torching their homes, charges the leadership usually denies.
There is also footage of Boko Haram fighters picking through the wreckage of an aircraft they claim to have shot down. Nigeria's military is still looking for a war plane that went missing more than two weeks ago.Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Ekim 2014, 00:49