An unspecified number of people have been reported killed at Damasak, the headquarters of Mobar local government in Borno state when suspected members of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP), which is another faction of Boko Haram operating in the northern part of Borno State on Saturday night launched an attack on the town.
The insurgents were reported to have targeted the United Nation hub, which houses all UN workers and other NGOs working in the area.
They were said to have also hit facilities belonging to other organisations, including the central warehouse of the World Food Programme (WFP), which was heavily looted during the attack.
It was gathered that an airstrike to dislodge the attackers from the town instead bombarded a residence where a naming ceremony was going on, causing heavy casualties.
The police station in the local government was also reported to have been burnt down as the operatives ran and abandoned the facility owing to superior fireworks from Boko Haram fighters.
An unconfirmed report indicated the insurgents captured and slaughtered two soldiers.
Chairman of Mobar local government area, Hon. Mustapha Bunu Kolo, who confirmed the attack to few journalists, described the attack as “worrisome”.
“Honestly, yes, there was a devastating Boko Haram attack in Damasak yesterday night.
“What is most worrisome is the killing of six people when military airstrike which was assisting ground troops fired at one of a Boko Haram vehicles that rammed into a family where friends and relatives had gathered for a naming ceremony.
“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,” Kolo informed.
A security source, who is not authorised to speak with the media, informed the humanitarian workers at the UN hub during the attack were moved to the hub bunker with none of them hurt.
UN confirms attack
Its resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria Edward Kallon, in a statement, said: “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 lifelines 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.”