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Buhari condemns Boko Haram attack on UN helicopter that killed 2 civilians

  • Two civilians including a five-year-old child died on ground
  • Helicopter, crew members flew back to Maiduguri unhurt, after the attack

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday condemned what he called “the dastardly attack on UN aid helicopter in the Northeast on Saturday by the Boko Haram terrorists.”

The terrorists, according to the UN, launched the attack on Thursday in Damasak, Borno State, killing two civilians including a five-year-old child in the process.

Edward Kallon, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, on Saturday said both fatalities and several others injured in the attack were on the ground.

“A UN Humanitarian Air Service helicopter was hit by bullets during the attack. No aid workers were on board at the time and crew members are all safe,” Kallon said in a statement.

A UN communication said the aircraft was shot as it approached Damasak and the pilots managed to fly back to Maiduguri.

Presidential Spokesperson, Malam Garba Shehu, said in a statement that President Buhari said that “this latest cowardly attack on the UN humanitarian helicopter is yet another desperate rear guard action by the Boko Haram terrorists who have been under intense pressure from the Nigerian military.

“Let me reassure the international community and Nigerians that this latest cowardly attack on a UN helicopter which claimed the lives of two people, including a five year old baby, would not go without severe consequences.

“Boko Haram terrorists are clearly on the back foot and their increasing attacks on innocent civilians, including UN humanitarian workers, was part of their desperation to prove that they are strong in order to cover up their dwindling fortunes.”

President Buhari said “the security of foreigners and Nigerians remain the top priority of this administration, and we shall leave no stone unturned until we eliminate these remorseless enemies of humanity.”

The President also underscored the need for all humanitarian and other aid workers in the region to, at all times, properly coordinate movements — air or land, with the Theatre Commander and other military authorities.

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