December 29, 2016 / 3:43 PM / 8 months ago

Man purporting to be Boko Haram leader denies Sambisa forest defeat

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria Dec 29 (Reuters) - A man purporting to be the leader of Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, appeared in a video seen by Reuters on Thursday in which he said the jihadist group had not been pushed out of its stronghold in the Sambisa forest.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said Boko Haram's last enclave in the forest, a former game reserve in northeast Nigeria, had been captured in the "final crushing" of the group.

Reuters has been unable independently verify that the area was captured. (Reporting by Ahmed Kingimi, Ardo Abdullahi, Garba Mohammed and Alexis Akwagyiram; editing by John Stonestreet)

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