Abubakar Shekau, the leader of radical Islamist group Boko Haram, has reportedly been killed after an aerial strike in Nigeria.
For years, rumors have circulated in the media that Shekau has been killed, but the latest reports indicate that photos of his dead body are circulating after a ground raid by security forces. U.S. forces have also provided aid in the hunt for Shekau, and while they can’t confirm that the photo and report of his death are 100 percent accurate, they say they are investigating.
“We are aware of the reports, but can’t confirm anything at this time," said a U.S. State Department representative.
While the man in the photo appears to be Shekau, reports note that the leader has used body doubles in the past to fake his own death.
Boko Haram is most widely known for organizing the abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok back in April. The abduction sparked international outrage and inspired a campaign, #BringBackOurGirls, on social media.
The terrorist group has reportedly killed more than 5,000 people since 2010 and 2,000 in the first half of 2014 alone.