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Report reaching us that an attack launched by Boko Haram terrorists loyal to Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in Damasak community of Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State has left 5 people dead.
Three women, a man and two soldiers lost their lives in the Saturday night, April 10 attack. Locals said the assailants destroyed the United Nations Hub housing all the workers of the international organisation.
Daily Trust reported that the hub was established in Damasak, located 188 from Maiduguri in the northern part of Borno to fast track support for victims of Boko Haram excesses. The town had survived several attacks in the last 11 years.
Insurgents stormed Damasak in the evening and engaged the troops from multiple locations, which led to the burning down of the UN hub and others infrastructures. It was further learnt that while some of the terrorists were engaging the troops at their camps, others were busy burning NGOs warehouses near the UN hub.
An eyewitness told the publication that the residence of the traditional ruler of Damasak, and the Norwegian Refugees Commission (NRC) facilities at Fulatari Ward were burnt.
The local said:-
“The warehouse of the World Food Programme (WFP), which was filled with assorted food items, was completely looted.
“They also carted away medicine and other equipment at a nearby government hospital. They stole the belongings of the poor people who are already in need of support.
“Many vehicles belonging to all the humanitarian agencies in the town were either stolen or burnt.”
While military authorities said Nigerian troops repelled members of the terrorist group, Chairman of Mobbar LGA, Mustapha Bunu Kolo who confirmed the attack described it as “worrisome”.
“Yes, there was a devastating Boko Haram attack in Damasak yesterday night…The insurgents destroyed all humanitarian hubs and their facilities after carting away foodstuff at one of their main warehouses.
“The insurgents also went to General Hospital and carted away medical consumables with a brand new ambulance stationed at the facility.”
Another eyewitness said the Boko Haram fighters attacked both the 5 Army Brigade and 145 Battalion simultaneously thereby throwing the whole town into confusion. The eyewitness said;
“The inhabitants of Damasak town were thrown into a panic mode as a result of the gun duel between the Nigeria troops and the terrorists who drove gun trucks.
“While retreating from the town, they carted away an unspecified number of vehicles belonging to NGOs and other people. They looted food items worth millions of nair.”
UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon has also condemned the destruction of their humanitarian hub and other NGOs.
Kallon said in a statement:-
“I am deeply concerned about recurrent reports of violent attacks by non-state armed groups putting the lives of civilians under risks.
“Last night and through the morning, a violent attack in Damasak town, in Borno State, was reported with three international aid partners’ facilities directly targeted, set ablaze, and sustained damage. I continue to be concerned about the safety and security of civilians and humanitarian workers.
“I strongly condemn the attack, as humanitarian aid operations and facilities are the lifeline for people affected by violence and conflict in northeast Nigeria who are dependent on assistance to survive.
“Humanitarian operations in Damasak will be reduced due to the violent attack, which will affect the support to 8,800 internally displaced people and 76,000 people in the host community receiving humanitarian assistance and protection there.
“Civilians and aid workers, their facilities and assets should never be a target. They must always be protected and respected. I call on armed parties to observe and commit to international humanitarian law and human rights law, and ensure the protection of civilians, humanitarian property, and personnel.”