4 aid workers killed as Boko Haram attacks Rann in Borno
-Four aid workers have been killed in Boko Haram attack in Rann, Borno state
– This was confirmed by the UN spokeswoman, Samantha Newport
– She said that one aid worker was injured and one aid worker is missing after the attack The United Nation on Friday, March 2, confirmed that about four aid workers were killed in a Boko Haram attack in Rann in the latest violence that hit the remote town.
Vanguard reports that the United Kingdom is providing expert training to the Nigerian military in helping to develop the skills necessary to tackle the terror threat of Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria.
NAIJ.com gathered that the Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009 and has killed at least 20,000 and forced more than 2.6 million from their homes.
The attack happened “after dark” outside a camp housing some 55,000 people displaced by the conflict and appeared to target the military, said UN spokeswoman, Samantha Newport.
A civilian militia source in Rann, which is some 175 kilometres (110 miles) from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri, and a senior military source gave an identical death toll.
They also said eight soldiers were killed in the attack but there was no immediate official confirmation.
Newport said: “Four aid workers were killed, one aid worker was injured and one aid worker is missing, feared abducted.
“Of the aid workers that were killed, two worked for the IOM (International Organization for Migration) in camp management; and one was a medical doctor working as a third party consultant for UNICEF,” the UN children’s agency. No details were immediately available for the fourth but Newport said the injured and missing were both women.
All those involved were Nigerian, she added. Boko Haram fighters killed nine people from the Rann internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in September last year, as they worked on farms just outside the town.
In January last year, a botched Nigerian air strike intended to hit jihadist fighters killed at least 112 people as aid workers distributed food. Commanders at the time called the bombing a mistake and blamed “the fog of war”.
An air force board of inquiry later blamed “lack of appropriate marking of the area” for the bombardment and an unexpected gathering of people at the location.
NAIJ.com had earlier reported that many persons were feared killed Thursday, March 1, as suspected Boko Haram insurgents staged a late evening attack on Rann, the headquarters of Kala Balge local government area of Borno state.
Premium Times reports that witnesses said the village, where hundreds of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and humanitarian workers were camping, suddenly came under serious attack by armed Boko Haram gunmen.
It was gathered that an audio distress message sent out by a woman working for an international humanitarian organization in the town, confirmed that the village was attacked by terrorists.
There is no telephone service in Rann, but humanitarian workers depend on wifi services provided by their employers to communicate with loved ones via social media platforms that support video or voice calls.
It was gathered that the said lady had a distressing chat with her male friend (name withheld) between the hours of 8pm and 9pm.
In her voice message, she informed her friend in Maiduguri that they were under attack and that they had to run to the nearby military base for protection.
Her last voice chat indicated the attackers eventually stormed the military base where her and others were taking refuge and that she was about to be harmed. Her last message in Hausa was “oh my God they are now coming in, they are going to kill me…”
A security personnel who asked not to be named told Premium Times via telephone that the attack started at about 7pm.
“We got the report that Rann was being attacked at about 7pm and that many persons may have been affected but no one can clearly say the number of dead casualty.
“We have to wait till morning before one could tell exactly what happened there”, the source said.
Rann, a difficult-to-access community about 150km west of Maiduguri, is the Borno village where an air force jet deployed under Operation Lafiya Dole dropped bombs in error on an IDP camp. Nearly 200 persons died in that unfortunate January 2017 incident.