Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video message on Tuesday claiming a series of attacks in northeast Nigeria during the festive season.
He released the first video message in months violence escalates in the region.
“We are in good health and nothing has happened to us,” said Shekau in the 31-minute video message spoken in the Hausa language common across northern Nigeria.
“Nigerian troops, police and those creating mischief against us can’t do anything against us, and you will gain nothing,” he said.
“We carried out the attacks in Maiduguri, in Gamboru, in Damboa. We carried out all these attacks.”
The video then shows footage from a Christmas Day attack on a military checkpoint in Molai village on the outskirts of the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, which the military said was thwarted by troops after one hour of battle.
Boko Haram fighters in tattered clothes were shown shooting from the back of battered pickup trucks.
Shekau’s message comes during an acceleration of Boko Haram attacks and just days after the jihadists killed 25 people outside Maiduguri.
But Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said in his New Year address that Boko Haram has been “beaten”.
“Isolated attacks still occur, but even the best-policed countries cannot prevent determined criminals from committing terrible acts of terror,” said Buhari.
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