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ISWAP Fighters Kidnap Aid Worker, Local Officials in Borno

A humanitarian aid worker and two local officials have been abducted by Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters in conflict-plagued Borno, a state in northeastern Nigeria, two security officials said Wednesday.

They were kidnapped by the jihadists at a checkpoint in the village of Wakilti in Borno State on Monday, the sources told AFP, in the latest incident in a region that has been in the grip of an Islamist insurgency for more than a decade.

“The hostages included two local officials and an aid worker but it is not clear which organisation he works for,” one of the security sources said.

The two officials were returning to the regional capital Maiduguri from the town of Mobbar, where they had gone for local elections held on the weekend, the second source said.

In June five humanitarian workers were killed a few days after being abducted by ISWAP, whose stronghold is on the edge of Lake Chad.

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The local elections in Borno State were the first held since Boko Haram launched its insurgency in 2009.

In the bloodshed since, more than 36,000 people have been killed and over two million have fled their homes.

In 2016, Boko Haram splintered into two groups, the Islamic State-affiliated ISWAP and one that remained loyal to historic leader Abubakar Shekau.

The UN said the country’s most violent attack took place on Saturday, when Boko Haram fighters killed 76 farmers in a rice field not far from Maiduguri, slitting the throat of many of the victims.


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