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Boko Haram kills 19 soldiers, 50 civilians in ambush

4 August 2017 No Comment

Boko Haram has ambushed and killed 19 soldiers and 50 civilians of an Oil exploration team in North East of Nigeria as three men kidnapped by the jihadists made a video appeal.
Experts said the attack is Boko Haram’s bloodiest this year which underscores the persistent threat it poses, despite government claims that the group is a spent force.
“So far the death toll stands at 69,” said an aid agency worker involved in the recovery of bodies after the attack in the Magumeri area of Borno State on Tuesday.
The worker, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said 19 soldiers, 33 civilian militia and 17 civilians were killed.
“The last body was recovered Friday in the bush in the Geidam district of neighbouring Yobe State, which is several kilometres from the scene of the ambush,” according to AFP.
“It shows the victim, who had gunshot wounds, died after trekking a long distance. There could be more such victims in the bush.”

Another source with knowledge of the rescue operation gave the death toll as “70 or more” and also said it was unclear whether all the victims had been accounted for. The attack hit Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation staff.
“It’s a confirmation of the boldness and reassurance that Boko Haram has managed to gain over the last six weeks,” said Yan St-Pierre, from the Modern Security Consulting Group.
“They have been attacking more and more military outposts and more military convoys. For them to go after NNPC personnel just shows they don’t fear any military reprisal.
“Basically they have managed to gain enough resources, enough material, to plan ambushes targeted towards high value targets.”
– Video appeal –
News of the rising death toll came after Boko Haram published a four-minute video in which three men identified themselves as being from the University of Maiduguri.
The trio were part of a NNPC team on a mission to find commercial quantities of oil in the Lake Chad basin.
“I want to call on the Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to come to our rescue to meet the demand,” one of the men says in the video, which he said was shot on Friday.
He attributed the attack to the Islamic State-supported Boko Haram faction headed by Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawi, which has vowed to hit military and government targets.
.There was no indication of where the video was shot but Magumeri is some 50 kilometres (31 miles) by road northwest of Maiduguri.
University of Maiduguri spokesman Danjuma Gambo confirmed the identities of the three kidnapped men in the video. “They are our staff but one more is yet to be accounted for,” he told AFP.
Five members of staff from the university — two lecturers, two technologists and a driver — were killed, vice-chancellor Ibrahim Njodi said on Friday.
He told reporters the university had been hesitant to send staff with the NNPC team but had been assured about security.
Nigeria is searching for oil in the northeast to try to reduce its reliance on supplies from the Niger delta, where militant attacks have slashed production.
Kidnapping has been a feature of the Boko Haram insurgency, which has killed at least 20,000, displaced more than 2.6 million and left millions of others on the brink of famine.

Courtesy: AFP

 

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