SWITZERLAND, DECEMBER 03 – Few days after Boko Haram fighters massacred scores of farmers in Zabarmari, Borno State, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) has said has abducted a Red Cross employee in the state.
According to investigative journalism outfit, HumAngle, ISWAP made the disclosure via its propaganda news outlet, Amaq.
HumAngle gathered from the publication that the abducted staff of the Red Cross was taken on Monday at a checkpoint set up on the road by the terror group between Kareto and Gubio in Borno State.
It had been earlier reported that three state officials were abducted on the same day by ISWAP in Mobbar Local Government Area of the state, but the group’s statement confirms that the victims were rather two state officials and one humanitarian worker.
The victims were stopped by the insurgents at a checkpoint set up in Wakilti while they were travelling from Damasak, a town about 200km from the state capital, Maiduguri.
The Red Cross has yet to make any official statement about a missing or abducted staff member.
ISWAP had a few days ago claimed responsibility for kidnapping a Nigerian policeman and a member of the Civilian Joint Task Force at a roadblock between Gubio and Damasak.
HumAngle learnt that about two weeks earlier, seven people were abducted along Damasak road.
In September, ISWAP abducted five employees of Borno State Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, a local government worker and another civilian.
The victims were intercepted and abducted at a checkpoint along Damasak road.
On July 18, 2019, six Action Against Hunger employees were abducted along Damasak road.
The captors killed one of their victims on September 25 of the same year and killed four others on December 13, 2019, while the only woman on the team, Grace Taku, remains in captivity.
Roads leading to and connecting Garrison towns have become death traps, as ISWAP and Boko Haram mount checkpoints to interdict civilians and humanitarian workers and ambush military convoys
In July, a total of 14 checkpoint incidents occurred, mainly in Borno State, up from five incidents in June, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The agency added that, in August, the trend increased with 16 incidents recorded.
Since 2009, Boko Haram’s violence in the northeast and the Lake Chad region has led to the displacement of more than two million people.