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Boko Haram leader 'supports' Nigeria school massacre

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Picture taken May 29, 2013 from a video obtained by AFP shows the leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau. In a ten-minute video delivered to AFP Saturday, Shekau said he supported a July 6 attack on a school that killed 42 people, but did not claim responsibility for the massacre, (Boko Haram/AFP/File)

The head of Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists said he supported a July 6 attack on a school that killed 42 people, but did not claim responsibility for the massacre, in a video obtained by AFP on Saturday.

"We fully support the attack on this Western education school in Mamudo," in northern Yobe state, Abubakar Shekau said in the 10-minute video message.

The video was delivered to AFP in a manner consistent with previous statements from the Islamist leader, who has been declared a global terrorist by the United States.

The early morning gun and bomb attack at a boarding school in the Mamudo district of Yobe saw assailants round up students and staff in a dormitory before throwing explosives inside and opening fire, according to witnesses.

Most of those killed were students.

In the video, Shekau described all "Western education schools" as a "plot against Islam".

He however stopped short of claiming to have ordered the attack.

"We don't attack students," he said in the Hausa language message.

Yobe state was one of three areas placed under a state of emergency in May ahead of a sweeping military offensive against Boko Haram.

Roughly translated, Boko Haram means "Western education is sin."