The Nigerian Military interrupted a midnight attempt by fighters from the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) to steal a number of vehicles from a humanitarian transport hub in Borno.
The theft was unsuccessful but during the attack at least 19 vehicles used to transport aid were burned.
The attack was on the depot of local logistics contractor Damuli in Monguno. The gunmen arrived on foot, eyewitnesses said.
“Yes it was the boys”, an eyewitness said, meaning ISWAP. “When they heard the sound of military vehicles coming, they stopped a little and when the Nigerian soldiers arrived, they started exchanging fire,” the witness who did not want to be named said.
The gunfight prevented them from getting away with any cars and they burned the rest in the transport yard, before escaping on foot, the witness said.
The vehicles had just been filled with fuel for their use in transporting humanitarian aid around the state, Human Resource director of Damuli investment company Mr Abba Abuna said.
“We refuelled all the vehicles in the evening of that day and you can imagine how fuel prices had skyrocketed recently and in Monguno town, it had tripled,” Abuna said. “Even the five vehicles that they tried to run away with were now damaged and we cannot put them to use as some have their tires, windshields or side glasses damaged. We have incurred a great lost and it will affect those we are rendering these services greatly”
There were no reports of any injuries.
The depot in Monguno serves as a transit hub for commercial vehicles moving humanitarian materials and civilians around Borno.
Humanitarian organisations in the region depend on private contractors to move supplies to Monguno due to the high level of risk along the access route.
The garrison town hosts a significant military base and the critical humanitarian hub in the north of Borno, an area close to the shores of Lake Chad.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 17:52 to include more detail about the attack.
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