UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — An armed group which has kidnapped aid workers in north-eastern Nigeria five months ago has announced the killing of four hostages, the international relief agency “Action Against Hunger” said on Friday.
Six people were kidnapped in July near the town of Damasac, Borno State, where Islamist militants have been active.
The Islamic State’s mandate in West Africa, which grew out of the Boko Haram militant group that began its revolt in 2009, has become the dominant militant group in the region. The decade-long insurgency has killed nearly 30,000 people and driven two million from their homes.
Action Against Hunger said that one of its employees, two drivers and three employees of the Ministry of Health had been kidnapped. In September, she said one of the hostages had been killed.
On Friday, it said the group had announced the killing of four of the remaining five hostages.
“The Action Against Hunger condemns in the strongest terms the recent killings and deeply regrets the failure to respond to its calls for the release of the hostages,” she added.
It also called for the “immediate release” of the remaining hostage.
Edward Kallon, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, condemned the killing of the hostages.
“This is yet another sad day for the Nigerian people and the humanitarian community that supports them,” he said in a statement.
“Violence against humanitarian relief workers puts at risk those affected by armed conflict the assistance they desperately need.”
The United Nations has described the situation in northeastern Nigeria as one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world and estimated that about seven million people need assistance.
The statement said that seven relief workers have been killed since the beginning of the year, out of 26 UN and relief workers overall, during the conflict since 2011.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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