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JUST IN: ISWAP Frees UNHCR Staff, Others Kidnapped 5 Months Ago



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Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) has released several humanitarian workers and civilians abducted during attacks along Maiduguri – Damaturu highway and other areas in the North-East about five months ago.

The aid workers were freed by the terrorist group on Monday alongside other captives, after negotiations.

Among those released is Idris Alooma, a staff of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) abducted along the Damaturu-Maiduguri Road in January this year.

The group also released a top Christian cleric, Reverend Zango and one Barka Wasinda, a former staff of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and some aid workers abducted from a facility in Dikwa in March.

Dikwa, which lies about 90 kilometres from Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, was targeted in a series of attacks in March, April and May, and recently in June.

It could be recalled that during the attack in March, the terror group overran the town, destroyed support facilities, including a primary health care centre, and also laid siege at the United Nations humanitarian hub, which forced aid workers to seek shelter in a bunker.

The United Nations suspended operations in response to the attacks on humanitarian operations in Dikwa and Damasak, affecting humanitarian assets and personnel.

The aid workers and the other freed persons were receiving medical support at an undisclosed hospital in Maiduguri at press time.

With the reported overthrow and death of the former Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau and the subsequent control of affairs of terrorists in the Northeast presently by ISWAP, coupled with the in-house power tussle among Shekau’s loyalists, there could certainly be a new twist to war against terrorism.

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