Terrorist attack in Nigeria targets humanitarian workers
International Christian Concern (ICC) reports that militants believed to be connected to Islamic State (IS) attacked a United Nations humanitarian hub in the northeastern Nigerian town of Damasak over the weekend. At least four individuals died in the attack, including two soldiers, and numerous facilities were burned along with significant life-saving equipment.
The attack highlights a growing pattern in which IS-affiliated militants intentionally target humanitarian aid workers—a trend concerning not only because of its impact on the workers themselves but also for the harm it brings to the communities those workers were serving.
In Damasak, over eifghty thousand people rely on humanitarian aid, according to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs which announced on Monday that its operations in Damasak would be temporarily suspended.
“Large communities will have no relief nor protection” after the attack, warned Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norway Refugee Council. Their office in Damasak experienced substantial damage. “The Nigerian government and international donors must do more to help us stay and deliver.”
Other humanitarian organisations were also targeted in the attack, which caused at least one thousand residents to flee. Militants looted the city hospital but were prevented from burning it by one of their commanders, according to the Premium Times. The commander was apparently unwilling to burn the hospital with patients inside.