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UN suspends aid work in northeast Nigeria after militant attack


The United Nations (UN) has stopped its relief operations in northeastern Nigeria following an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants that left three humanitarian workers dead and at least three others missing.

The UN said in a statement late on Friday that aid work had been suspended in the town of Rann in Borno State, which hosts a refugee camp where 55,000 people displaced by militancy are settled.

“All humanitarian personnel have been evacuated from Rann, and all humanitarian deliveries in the area have been temporarily suspended,” the UN statement said.

The three aid workers, alongside eight security personnel guarding the camp, were killed in a militant attack on Rann late on Thursday. It is suspected that the three missing aid workers — possibly females — have been abducted by the militants.

Two of the deceased aid workers were contractors with the International Organization for Migration, working as coordinators in the camp, and the third deceased aid worker was a medical doctor employed as a third party consultant with UNICEF.

“At the time of the attack, over 40 humanitarian workers were in Rann,” the statement said.

In a similar measure, medical aid organization Doctors without Borders said on Friday that it had suspended its charity operations in Rann, too, and that it had evacuated both local and foreign staff.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s security forces have reportedly driven out the militants from the town of Rann, which is located in Nigeria’s militant- infested lawless northeast.

Last month, militants kidnapped 110 girls from a school in the northeastern town of Dapchi.

This image, taken on February 28, 2018, shows the girls’ technical college in Dapchi, where 110 girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in late February. (By AFP)

The kidnapping of the college girls from impoverished families in Dapchi, which bears similarities to the 2014 abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls from the city of Chibok, has caused outrage in the country.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says the army and air force are searching for the girls and are doing everything in their power to save them.

Nigeria admits missing girls have been ‘abducted’

More than 100 girls missing for a week after a Boko Haram attack on their school in northeast Nigeria have been kidnapped, the government says.

However, the biggest fear of the families in Dapchi is that they will have to wait many years until they receive any news from their daughters.

Despite four years having passed from the Chibok incident, about 100 of the girls are still unaccounted for.

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