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Boko Haram Video Claims to Show Nigerian Soldier Beheaded as Blasts Hit Near Lake Chad

The militant group released footage that purportedly shows a Nigerian soldier being decapitated on the same day that coordinated explosions killed 37 people.
October 10, 2015, 7:40pm
Photo by Jerome Delay/AP

Boko Haram released a video that purportedly shows the beheading of a Nigerian soldier on the same day that Chadian forces blamed the militant group for several explosions that were said to kill at least 37 people along the shores of Lake Chad.

Three coordinated blasts were triggered around 4pm local time on Saturday afternoon. One hit a fish market in the village of Baga Sola; the two others went off at refugee camp on the outskirts of the village. In addition to those killed, security forces told AFP that 52 people were wounded in the bombings.

Related: In Photos: On the Banks of Despair With Lake Chad's Boko Haram Refugees

Lake Chad is a large, shallow body of water bordered by Niger, Nigeria, Chad, and Cameroon. Boko Haram militants have used the small, inaccessible islands that are scattered across the lake to hide out and launch attacks on neighboring villages.

The beheading video was released on social media by the West Africa Province of the Islamic State, a name used by Boko Haram since pledging allegiance to the militant group based in Syria and Iraq. The footage also claims to show Boko Haram fighters pushing back Nigerian government forces in the country's restive Borno state, the Associated Press reports.

According to the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist activity online, the footage "shows fighters clashing with enemy forces, dead bodies of slain soldiers, and the beheading of one soldier taken captive."

Related: Boko Haram Has Forced 1.4 Million West African Children From Their Homes

It was the second video purportedly released by the group this week. In the first, released on Wednesday, an unidentified man confirmed Boko Haram's loyalty to the Islamic State and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The clip also disputed Nigerian government's reports that 200 militants had surrendered to the military.

Attacks by Boko Haram have been on the rise in both Chad and Nigeria over the last six months. Since the group's insurgency began 2009, an estimated 17,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced across West Africa.

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