In Nigeria, “jihadists” are taking hostages “by hundreds of civilians

Hundreds of residents of Kukawa, northeast of Nigeria, have been taken hostage by suspected ISIS fighters in West Africa, local leaders and sources reported on Wednesday. sure.

New outbreak of violence in the Lake Chad region. Hundreds of civilians have been taken hostage by jihadist fighters in northeastern Nigeria, AFP reported on Wednesday (August 19), based on local and security sources.

“Iswap ‘terrorists” took control of Kukawa (in the Lake Chad region) on Tuesday night and took hundreds of civilians hostage, “said Babakura Kolo, head of a civilian militia.

Iswap is the abbreviation for the Islamic State in West Africa, a group made up of former fighters of the Boko Haram sect.

The people of Kukawa had just returned to their homes after living for two years in a camp for the displaced, due to the violence raging in the Lake Chad region and in particular Borno State in northeastern Nigeria.

A local leader who was among them and who managed to escape, said that they returned in early August in the hope of finally being able to cultivate their land, “but immediately ended up in the hands of the rebels”.

“We do not know what they will do to them, but we hope they will not do them any harm,” said the community leader, who preferred to remain anonymous.

Distribution of combat aircraft

A security source confirmed the attack on AFP, saying that fighter jets had been deployed from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, to “handle the situation”.

Kukawa is located near the large city of Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad, an area controlled by the Iswap group, which was divided from Boko Haram in 2016. The group, affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) group, is leading many attacks, especially against the Nigerian army. and killed hundreds or even thousands of soldiers.

It also controls medium-sized towns and villages, and thousands of civilians live under its control.

More than 36,000 people have been killed since 2009 in the violence in Nigeria, and more than two million people are still unable to return to their homes.

The UN said last week that 10.6 million people (out of a total of 13 million), or “four out of five”, depend on humanitarian aid to survive the three Nigerian states most affected by the jihadist conflict (Borno, Yobe, Adamawa). “This is the highest number of records since we started the business five years ago.”

With AFP