Aid-group facilities targeted in Nigeria
LAGOS, Nigeria — Suspected Islamic extremists attacked the offices of several international aid groups, setting them ablaze and renewing concerns Sunday about the safety of humanitarian workers in Nigeria’s embattled northeast.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks in Damasak town late Saturday, but suspicion immediately fell on a faction of extremists aligned with the Islamic State group.
Edward Kallon, United Nations resident and humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, expressed concern for civilians and aid workers in the wake of the overnight attack.
“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,” Kallon said in a statement.
The Norwegian Refugee Council said the attack “jeopardized our work and threatened the lives of many aid workers.”
Local authorities said the insurgents also looted drugs from a hospital in Damasak and stole an ambulance but were stopped from setting the building on fire.
An insurgency aimed at establishing an Islamic state in northeast Nigeria has now lasted more than a decade.