A leader of the Islamist group Boko Haram announced a cease-fire, raising questions that the group may be split over whether to make peace.
A purported commander of Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram declared a unilateral cease-fire on Monday, raising fresh questions about possible rifts within the secretive militant movement as it was not clear if he was speaking for the group.
Sheik Abu Mohammed Ibn Abdulazeez, a man local security sources say is a sect member, twice made statements last year saying Boko Haram is ready for peace talks with the government.
But the group, whose attacks have left hundreds dead since it launched an uprising to try to carve an Islamic state out of Nigeria in 2009, has continued its insurgency unabated. The latest statement is likely to be greeted with scepticism.
In the remarks in English sent to journalists in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, Boko Haram's headquarters, Abdulazeez said Boko Haram had declared "a ceasefire throughout the country with immediate effect ... following a series of meetings with government officials."