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The leader of Nigeria’s Islamist group Boko Haram said his fighters were now ruling the captured northeastern town of Gwoza “by Islamic law”, in the first video to state a territorial claim in more than five years of violent insurrection. The Nigerian military was quoted in local press as denying that Boko Haram was in control of the town, although security sources and some witnesses said police and military there had been pushed out. Abubakar Shekau’s videoed speeches, often as chilling for a rambling incoherence as for any message they contain, have become a regular feature of the militant leader’s bid to project himself as public enemy number one in Africa’s biggest economy.



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