Boko Haram leader appears in video amid surge in attacks Jan 03, 2018 0 35 12345 AFPKanoBoko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video message on Tuesday claiming a series of attacks in northeast Nigeria during the festive season.The shadowy leader released his first video message in months amid a surge in violence casting doubt on the Nigerian government's claim that the militant group is defeated."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 torn 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 militants killed 25 people outside Maiduguri, the birthplace of the Islamist insurgency.In December, Boko Haram attacked convoys of Nigerian soldiers and dispatched suicide bombers into crowded markets in towns across northeast Nigeria.At least 50 people were killed in November when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque in Adamawa state. 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.Shekau, a leader known for his lengthy, wild-eyed video messages, took over Boko Haram in 2009 after the death of its founder Muhammad Yusuf.Boko Haram, whose Islamist insurgency has left at least 20,000 dead in Nigeria since it began in 2009, has long been fractionalised.In 2016 it suffered a major split, when the so-called Islamic State group recognised Yusuf's son, Abu Mus'ab al-Barnawi, as leader. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES S Korea proposes high-level talks after Kim's overture Jan 03, 2018 0 365 US, Britain warn S Sudan rivals over ceasefire violations Jan 03, 2018 0 27 Catholic Church condemns DR Congo's 'barbaric' crackdown; death toll hits 12 Jan 03, 2018 0 27 Gunmen kill 14 churchgoers in Nigeria River State shooting AFP Warri Gunmen killed at least 14 churchgoers returning from a midnight service on Monday in Nigeria's Rivers State, a police source told AFP, the latest violence to hit the oil-rich region. "The gunmen opened fire .. Two climbers die in fall on S Africa's Table Mountain Johannesburg Two climbers were killed abseiling on Cape Town's Table Mountain on New Year's Day, with hundreds of tourists stranded on the summit for hours during the rescue effort, South African officials .. Museveni signs bill removing Uganda presidential age limit Kampala Uganda's Yoweri Museveni has signed into law a bill removing presidential age limits, a spokesman said Tuesday, clearing the way for the 73-year-old's expected sixth run at the presidency in 2021. The .. Australian investigators hope to recover seaplane this week AFP Sydney Accident investigators hope this week to raise a seaplane which crashed into an Australian river with the death of six people, including a high-profile British chief executive. Richard Cousins, the boss of .. Trump eyes potential talks, claims 'sanctions beginning to have impact' WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said possible talks between North Korea and South Korea held mixed potential, while sanctions were beginning to take a toll on Pyongyang amid tensions over its nuclear and .. Internet restored after deadly protests Kinshasa Internet was restored in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday after the government cut services for three days on the eve of protests against the president, AFP reporters said. The Congolese minister for ..