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Nigeria military rejects Boko Haram 'caliphate' claim

Published on Aug 25, 2014 2:02 AM
 
A screengrab taken on August 24, 2014 from a video released by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram and obtained by AFP shows the leader of the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau (centre), delivering a speech at an undisclosed location. Boko Haram's leader said he has created an Islamic caliphate in a north-east Nigeria town seized by the insurgents earlier this month. "Thanks be to Allah who gave victory to our brethren in (the town of) Gwoza and made it part of the Islamic caliphate," Abubakar Shekau said in the 52-minute video. -- PHOTO: AFP 

ABUJA (AFP) - Nigeria's military on Sunday rejected a claim by Boko Haram's leader that a north-east town seized by the insurgents earlier this month has been placed under an Islamic caliphate.

"That claim is empty," defence spokesman Chris Olukolade said in reference to Abubakar Shekau's boastings about the town of Gwoza in Borno state.

"The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Nigerian state is still intact," and operations "to secure that area from the activities of the bandits is still ongoing," he added.

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