The Nigerian government announced on Thursday that its military troops have killed the leader of the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), Malam Bako.

Bako had succeeded Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who himself was killed by Nigerian troops two weeks ago. Al-Barnawi was the son of Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf.

Army spokesman Brigadier Benard Onyuko said in a statement that Nigerian troops had conducted several raids and airstrikes on suspected ISWAP locations. Malam Bako was killed in one such raid.

“In the course of the operations within the period, a total of 38 terrorist elements were neutralized, including the ISWAP’s new leader, Bako,” Onyuko said. He declined to discuss any details of the operation.

Nigerian soldiers
Nigerian troops receiving training from U.S. forces during an exercise. (DVIDS)

Onyeuko added that 11 people, including terrorists, their informants, and logistics suppliers, were arrested. He said that between October 15 and 28, a total of 1,199 terrorists and their families, comprising 114 adult males, 312 adult females, and 773 children, surrendered to the troops at different locations in the North East.

Speaking to the media at the State House on Thursday, the Nigerian National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno said Bako was killed by Nigerian troops alongside another ISWAP commander.

These attacks by the army are beginning to take a toll on the insurgent terror group.

“In one month, we have been able to take out the leadership of ISWAP, that is Abu Musab Al-Barnawi… Two days ago, the man who succeeded him, Malam Bako, one of ISWAP Shura Council, was also taken out.”