Four aid workers with the World Food Programme, WFP, have been kidnapped in Borno State.
The WFP is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations.
In a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, the WFP said the gunmen ambushed one of their military-escorted convoy of food trucks taking supply to an internally displaced persons camp in Ngala village of Borno State on Saturday.
Four persons were confirmed killed during the attack. Sources also told this medium that three other persons were abducted the by the gunmen, suspected to be members of Boko Haram.
According to the WFP’s Communication Officer at the Maiduguri area office, Adedeji Ademigbuji, two of the four persons killed were the truck driver and his assistant.
But sources familiar with the attack confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that three other persons were taken away by the gunmen who drove the food trucks to an unknown destination. WFP in its confirmation email was silent about the abduction of the three other persons.
“WFP can confirm that a convoy escorted by the Nigerian military including WFP hired trucks was the subject of an attack by armed groups 35km southwest of Ngala in Borno State on Saturday (16 December)”, said Mr Ademigbuji.
“Four people, including the driver of a WFP-hired truck and a driver’s assistant, were killed in the incident. WFP extends its condolences to the bereaved families.
“WFP is working with the authorities to determine the whereabouts of the trucks,” he said.
The source who spoke to journalists in Maiduguri on condition of anonymity because he is not permitted to speak to the media said one of the trucks was burnt by the attackers.
It has not been ascertained if the other two people killed in the attack are civilians or members of the military escort.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Activities (UNOCHA) had in its October report expressed concern that some remote locations of Borno State could not be assessed by humanitarian workers due to activities of the insurgents.
The military is yet to issue a statement on this incident.
The Boko Haram activities in Borno and neighbouring states have caused about 100,000 deaths since 2009.