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ISWAP Abducts Third UN Worker In 2 Months

Islamic State West African Province, ISWAP insurgents have abducted a UN worker, the third in 2 months, according to Islamic State newsletter.

A third employee of the United Nations in Nigeria has been abducted within the past two months by Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) insurgents, the group has disclosed.

The parent terror organisation Islamic State (IS) mentioned this in issue 273 of Al-Naba, its official weekly newsletter, released on Thursday.

Citing a “private source,” it said its members had on Tuesday, Feb. 2, attacked the convoy of a UN agency between Karito and Monguno, both towns in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria.

The invading terrorists, the newsletter added, had set up a temporary roadblock before the attack. They burnt a four-wheel-drive, abducted an employee of the international organisation and destroyed his car as well.

Last month, ISWAP members had abducted a Senior Protection Assistant with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Abubakar Garba Idris Alooma, along Maiduguri-Damaturu highway, close to Matari, a village in the same state.

According to witnesses, the terrorists wore military camouflage and came in four Hilux vans and motorcycles.

In December, the Boko Haram breakaway group had similarly kidnapped Emmanuel Peter Birdling, an employee of the World Food Programme (WFP), during a private trip to Maiduguri from Yobe State.

Shortly afterwards, they gained access to his Facebook account, where they asked his family not to bother and coldly announced his death.

The humanitarian worker had just got married two weeks before the tragic incident, information on this account showed.

A security source informed HumAngle that negotiations for the release of various captives had become stalled because of the high-profile abductees’ inclusion.

HumAngle also observed that this was the first time ISWAP would announce an abduction in the IS newsletter.

Information about kidnappings, negotiations, and releases had often been restricted to local audiences and decisions about the fate of kidnap victims’ fate were finalised by insurgent leaders within the country.

The change in tactic suggests that the terror group considers the recent abduction as unusually important, which experts believe might raise the stakes in securing the aid worker’s freedom.

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'Kunle Adebajo

Head of Investigations at HumAngle. ‘Kunle covers conflict alongside its many intricacies and fallouts. He also writes about disinformation, the environment, and human rights. He's won a couple of journalism awards, including the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism, the 2022 African Fact-checking Award, and the 2023 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling.

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