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Boko Haram insurgents abduct seven humanitarian workers after Dikwa attacks

FILE - In this file image taken from video released late Friday evening, Oct. 31, 2014, by Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, centre, the leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremist group. Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamic extremists have a new leader who promises to end attacks on mosques and markets used by Muslims, according to an interview published Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016 by the Islamic State. The group’s newspaper al-Nadaa identifies Abu Musab al-Barnawi as the new “Wali” of its West Africa Province _ a title previously used to describe long-time leader Abubakar Shekau. (Boko Haram, via AP, File)

At least seven aid workers have been abducted after Boko Haram insurgents launched attacks on Dikwa Local Government Area, LGA, of Borno State on Monday and Tuesday.

According to Vanguard, the insurgents also burnt the offices of the aid workers, destroyed government facilities, and hospitals belonging to Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs.

Meanwhile, a report from the Nigerian Army said troops of Operation Lafiya Dole had routed elements of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists, who attempted to attack Dikwa Town in Borno.

According to a statement by Brigadier-General Mohammed Yerima, the Director, Army Public Relations, the terrorists had on Monday stormed the town in an unconfirmed number of gun trucks and motorcycles.

The Army spokesman said the insurgents attempted to invade the town to loot food items and other logistics, after getting information that Gov. Babagana Zulum had distributed palliatives to the town.

The statement read:

“They came in droves through the Marte axis but could not gain access to the town due to the combat readiness of troops positioned there. The terrorists subsequently lost initiative as they were cut off completely, following the recent successful recapture of Marte town by the gallant troops.

“In desperation and to scare off residents from returning to their homes, they planted series of landmines on the roads which were also detected and successfully detonated by troops.”

While the United Nations confirmed the attack on its base, Yerima, however, debunked the reports by some social media suggesting that the terrorists attacked UN Base, trapping 25 aid workers, as published by some outlets.

According to him, the reports were false and sensational, aimed at stirring tension in the region and diminishing the glaring efforts and sacrifices of the military in the fight against insurgency.

Some eyewitness had said the insurgents stormed the town at 5:30 pm on Monday evening and had since been in control of the town, adding that troops had been battling to dislodge the town throughout the night.

Unconfirmed reports suggested that the reinforcement from Ajiri town was ambushed by the insurgents in the early hours of Tuesday, which slowed attempts to engage the Boko Haram insurgents when they struck.

The insurgents, according to some aid workers, were said to have taken total control of the town before destroying a humanitarian hub that caters for over 100,000 persons, mostly Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, who were desperately in need of food and shelter.


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