Terrorists believed to be members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), have overrun a United Nations base in Borno State in a midnight attack on Monday, trapping 25 humanitarian aid workers, security sources have confirmed.
It was gathered that Boko Haram terrorists also invaded the town of Dikwa in the state a few hours after they were dislodged by soldiers of the ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ of the Nigerian Army, from the military base and torching the humanitarian hub, a military source also confirmed.
“We have 25 staff sheltering in the bunker which is under siege by the militants… but so far, no staff has been affected,” a humanitarian source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.
However, another military source said reinforcements, including fighter jets and a helicopter gunship, had been deployed to help repel the attackers.
A spokesman for UN chief Antonio Guterres confirmed only that there was a “security incident”, but gave no further details.
In another development, reports also have it that thousands of civilians are currently trapped in Dikwa after Boko Haram insurgents took control of the town Monday night.
Soldiers had, on Monday evening, repelled an attack on the town but the insurgents returned hours later and overpowered the troops.
Residents say the insurgents were roaming the streets and preaching to locals not to flee the town, telling the people that they were not after the residents but the soldiers.
A resident of the town, Bukar Ahmed, who lamented the new invasion, said:
“They said we should stay, ‘we are not here to harm you but the soldiers’. Their motorcycles and gun trucks are in the town. Boko Haram is now in control of Dikwa as I speak with you.
“They are roaming the streets; help us talk to President Buhari to save our soul,” Ahmed said.
Another resident said:
“The situation in Dikwa is scary, thousands of civilians are trapped; we need a quick response from troops to save lives.
“The town is under siege; the government must mobilise resource to salvage the situation as soon as possible.”