About 24 hours after Boko Haram invaded Rann village in Borno State killing at least three international aid workers, neither the Nigerian government nor the military has spoken on other civilian casualties.
PREMIUM TIMES reported the Thursday night attack on Rann, a community that also houses an internally displaced persons camp for hundreds of people.
The UN later confirmed the death of four international aid workers in the attack. That confirmation by the UN is the only official confirmation of casualty from the attack.
President Muhammadu Buhari has since condemned the attack and the killing of the aid workers. He was, however, silent on other civilian casualties.
Also, neither the Nigeria military, the police, nor the Borno State government has spoken on the casualty 24 hours after the densely populated IDP camp was attacked.
However, while Nigerian officials keep mum on the official casualty, an international aid official confirmed more civilians died than the UN staff.
“Again our humanitarian colleagues killed: Deeply saddened to hear of last night’s deadly attack in Rann, Nigeria, that killed many civilians. Three aid workers also murdered in the line of duty, and another missing,” Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said on his Twitter handle.
Military sources also confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that several civilians were killed and others abducted by the insurgents.
The Thursday night attack happened few hours after Nigeria security chiefs, led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, visited Maiduguri the Borno State capital to review the ongoing search for the abducted 110 Dapchi schoolgirls.
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, was still in Maiduguri at the time the attack took place in Rann, which is about 150km from Maiduguri.
The location of Rann, the security situation around the area, and the lack of efficient telephone system there makes it difficult for journalists to get a true picture of happenings there. A similar scenario occurred in January 2017 when a military jet mistakenly bombed the displaced persons camp causing about 200 deaths. It also took the military days to confirm the actual casualty.
On Friday, the telephone lines of the army and police spokespersons in Borno were switched off, ostensibly to avoid enquires on the topic.
However, a senior military official, told PREMIUM TIMES the attack claimed may casualties including soldiers.
“The situation in Rann has caused tension within the Theatre.
“All I know is that the situation is very bad and no one would give you clear information of what happened or the number of casualties,” the source, a member of the military’s Operation Lafiya Dole in the North-east, told PREMIUM TIMES.
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