Boko Haram insurgents have attacked a United Nations aid helicopter in Nigeria’s North-East region (Borno State).
The terrorists, according to the UN, launched the attack on Thursday, July 2, in Damasak, Borno State, killing two civilians including a five-year-old child in the process.
Edward Kallon, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, on Saturday, condemned the attack, adding that both fatalities and several others injured in the attack were on the ground.
‘I am gravely concerned by reports of another violent attack by non-state armed groups (Boko Haram) in Damasak, Borno State, on 2 July, in which at least two innocent civilians lost their lives, including a five years old child,’ the humanitarian envoy said.
“A UN Humanitarian Air Service helicopter was hit by bullets during the attack. No aid workers were on board at the time and crew members are all safe,” Kallon added.
A UN communication said the aircraft was shot as it approached Damasak and the pilots managed to fly back to Maiduguri.
He disclosed that ‘several others’ were also injured while a humanitarian helicopter was hit by Boko Haram bullets, causing some damage.
The helicopter was about to land at Damasak when the incident occurred but turned back to Maiduguri, about 190 kilometres away to land, he said.
The Damasak attack by Boko Haram is the second in nearly month coming after a similar incident at Monguno, in the same northern part of Borno mid-June.
According to a report by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Boko Haram has carried out a series of terror attacks in the northeast states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe since 2009, leading to the death of over 30,000 people and about three million displaced.
Troops Kill 75 Boko Haram Terrorists, Recover Weapons
Meanwhile, Troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole have killed 75 Boko Haram terrorists and recovered weapons in the northeast.
The Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, confirmed this in a statement issued on Sunday.
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According to him, the terrorists were killed in an ongoing offensive in the region that resulted in casualties on Boko Haram fighters and equipment.
Enenche noted that the Boko Haram fighters met their death during 17 separate encounters with the troops from June 1 to June 30, 2020.
“It is evident from recent encounters with Boko Haram/ISWAP that the resilience of the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE is being sustained across the North-East Theatre of operation resulting to high BHT/ISWAP casualties on men and equipment as well as capture or surrendering of some of their fighters.
“In their resolve to end BHT/ISWAP menace in the North-East region, from 1 – 30 June 2020, the gallant troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE had a total of 17 encounters with the marauding criminals, neutralizing 75 of them in the process,” the statement partly read.
Weapons recovered from the insurgents include one Anti-Aircraft Gun, 13 AK 47 Rifles, one Sniper Rifle, 21 locally made guns, 2 Dane guns and one Rocket Propelled Gun.
Others are three hand grenades, five Rocket Propelled Gun bombs, 205 rounds of Anti-Aircraft ammunition, 1018 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and two Boko Haram flags.
The defence spokesman explained that one Gun Truck, one Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device, one Toyota Starlet car and several makeshift structures belonging to the terrorists were also destroyed by the gallant troops within the period.
He, however, regretted that during the period, one of their officers was killed and another injured in the process with 35 people rescued. Amongst those rescued are 18 women, 16 children and one adult male.
Speaking further, Enenche said four insurgents including two women were captured and later identified to be the wives of the local Boko Haram commander at Gajingi in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State.