Nigeria: 2 Killed As B/Haram Attacks UN Helicopter — Official

July 5, 2020
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Two civilians including a five-year-old child were, on Thursday, killed and an aid helicopter damaged in a jihadist attack in restive northeast Nigeria.

Boko Haram fighters launched the attack in the town of Damasak.

This is according to the United Nation (UN) humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria Edward Kallon, in a statement on Saturday.

According to Kallon, both the fatalities and several others who were injured in the attack were on the ground.

Kallon said: “A UN Humanitarian Air Service helicopter was hit by bullets during the attack. No aid workers were on board at the time and crew members are all safe.”

“The aircraft was shot as it approached Damasak and the pilots managed to fly back to regional capital Maiduguri 150 kilometres (90 miles) away,” AFP quoted a UN memo as saying.

The memo said the UN was suspending rotational flights for one week “to engage with government partners and conduct new risk assessments”.

Helicopters provide a vital link carrying humanitarian personnel and delivering aid to an estimated 7.8 million people in urgent need of assistance across northeast Nigeria.

The 10-year jihadist conflict has killed 36,000 people and forced some 2 million from their home in the region.

Key roads remain too dangerous to travel despite the Nigerian military repeatedly insisting it has largely defeated the insurgents.

The UN has complained of an uptick in attacks targeting aid workers in the northeast of the country.

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