Nigeria: Boko Haram attacks Dalori military base and IDP camp

At least two people were killed and others injured when Boko Haram fighters raided a camp for people displaced by the conflict in northeast Nigeria, emergency services said Friday.

Dozens of militants on motorcycles and two motorized rickshaws stormed into a camp at Dalori on Thursday, July 25, shooting people and looting food supplies after attacking a nearby military base.

“We have recovered two dead bodies from the attack which also left several IDPs [internally displaced persons] with injuries,” said Bello Danbatta, head of security in the State Emergency Management Agency.

“The insurgents looted and burnt shops in the camp and also carted food supplies from the main store where food aid is stored,” he said.

About 50,000 displaced people are housed in makeshift dwellings in Dalori, around 15 km (9 miles) from the center of Borno state capital Maiduguri.

The insurgents attacked the camp after pushing out soldiers at a nearby military base in a shootout, several people said.

“They chased the soldiers away and burnt the base before forcing their way into the camp, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ [God is greater],” said camp resident Aisa Kyarimi.

“They started shooting and we all fled the camp,” said the mother of three.

Hassan Modu, a civilian militia member guarding the camp, said he ran into the attackers as he tried to flee.

“They were no doubt after looting food,” he said.

Dalori camp and the neighboring village have been repeatedly targeted in Boko Haram attacks by heavily armed fighters and suicide bombers.

In November, at least 12 people were killed when Boko Haram fighters attacked Dalori and two nearby villages.

In January 2016, at least 85 people were killed when militant fighters stormed and torched Dalori village and tried to gain access to the camps.

This week marks 10 years since the jihadist group known as Boko Haram began its bloody insurgency in northeastern Nigeria, which has since spread into neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

More than 27,000 people have been killed and two million others displaced, sparking a dire humanitarian crisis in the region. The U.S. assesses that factions of Boko Haram have been responsible for more than 35,000 deaths since 2011.

Thursday’s raid bears the hallmarks of previous attacks by the Boko Haram faction led by Abubakar Shekau.

Boko Haram split into two factions in mid-2016. One, led by long-time leader Shekau, is notorious for suicide bombings and indiscriminate killings of civilians. Shekau pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in March 2015, but ISIS central only gives formal backing to the other faction, which it calls Islamic State West Africa Province.

The ISWAP faction largely focuses on attacking military and government targets.

With reporting from AFP

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