Fourteen people, including two Red Cross relief workers, have been kidnapped in northeastern Nigeria, facing a bloody jihadist insurgency, Nigerian security sources said on Thursday.
The group of travelers was intercepted by insurgents of the Islamic State group in West Africa (Iswap) on a road in the state of Borno Wednesday night, according to these sources.
« The ISWAP terrorists established a checkpoint along the Maiduguri-Damaturu axis yesterday (Wednesday) around 8:30 pm and took 14 people who confused them with soldiers on patrol, » AFP told AFP. a safe source. « They stopped the motorists who were hurrying to join Maiduguri » at nightfall. « The abducted victims include an army sergeant and his family returning from a trip. Two Red Cross staff members were also taken away, along with six locals picking grasshoppers in the bush – a local delicacy.
A second security source confirmed the kidnapping, saying the jihadists had « cheated the motorists by mounting a fake roadblock near Jakana ».
« A soldier and his family are among the hostages. two Red Cross employees too, « added the second source.
No confirmation from the Red Cross
In a statement, the ISWAP claimed to have « made 14 prisoners, including two Red Cross employees, at a false checkpoint set up by its fighters » in Borno, according to the Site Intelligence monitoring site. The jihadist group claimed to have « captured » six Nigerian soldiers and eight Christian civilians, including two Red Cross employees.
The identity of the two humanitarians remained blurred Thursday.
According to a representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Nigeria contacted by phone, the organization was not able to confirm whether they were employees of the National Red Cross or the ICRC. Checks were in progress on Thursday.
ISWAP is a dissident faction of the jihadist group Boko Haram, which has committed numerous attacks and attacks against civilians.
The insurgency killed more than 35,000 people and displaced two million people in northeastern Nigeria, and spread to neighboring countries.