“They (Boko Haram terrorists) have been quiet for some time now due to the pressure from troops of Operation TURA TAKAI BANGO. But the intelligence report we got recently showed that both the Abubakar Shekau-led faction and ISWAP (Islamic State in West Africa Province) are planning massive attacks on different communities in both Yobe and Borno.
“We have informed all operational commanders to stay alert; all NGOs and humanitarian workers have also been informed. Some of the NGOs have started withdrawing their workers but I can assure you that men of the Nigerian Army are fully alert for them,” a colonel told SaharaReporters.
The insurgents had in March 2021 invaded the United Nations hub in Dikwa, Borno state, burning down the facility.
The terrorists who came with heavy machine guns and trucks, also took possession of the military formation, including high-profile fighting equipment and vehicles.
The group also burnt some public buildings, including the primary health care centre, local government secretariat, and part of Shehu of Dikwa’s palace.
The insurgents however pulled out of the town after having control for hours and killing many soldiers.
“About fifteen soldiers were killed by the gunmen, we earlier thought they were five but more than fifteen bodies have been recovered so far. Some civilians were killed as well,” a source had told SaharaReporters.
The attack was also confirmed by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Nigeria, UN-OCHA.
UN- OCHA Coordinator, Edward Kallon in a statement said he was enraged by the attack and was concerned with the safety of civilians and aid workers in the town.
He called for adequate and maximum security of civilians and aid workers in the region.
“I am gravely preoccupied by reports on an ongoing violent attack by non-state armed groups in Dikwa, Borno State, during which several aid facilities were directly targeted. The attack started last night and, as information is still coming through, I am outraged to hear the premises of several aid agencies and a hospital were reportedly set ablaze and sustained damage,” he had said.
“I strongly condemn the attack and deeply concerned about the safety and security of civilians in Dikwa, including internally displaced people inside and outside camps and thousands of people who had returned to the community to rebuild their lives after years in displacement.
“The violent attack will affect the support provided to nearly 100,000 people who are desperately in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic risks spreading in Borno State.
“Civilians and aid workers, their facilities and assets should never be a target. They must be protected and respected at all times. I call on all armed parties to immediately stop the violence and respect international humanitarian law and human rights law and ensure the protection of civilians, humanitarian and personnel.”