By Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Terrorist group, Boko Haram yesterday attacked three Borno settlements and burnt down the UNICEF clinic in Rann, Kala Balge Local Government Area of the state.
The UNICEF funded clinic, the only healthcare centre in the town had at different times been attacked by the insurgents.
The terrorist group had on Thursday, attacked Bama and Rann, before extending their onslaughts to Jakana on the Maiduguri- Damaturu highway on Friday evening.
According to security sources, dozens of gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram insurgents made an attempt to infiltrate Bama Town on Thursday evening.
The security source, who asked not to named, told THISDAY on phone that “the insurgents wanted to invade the town to cause havoc, but unfortunately for them, they were met by battle ready soldiers who gave them a run for their money.”
A resident of the town, Abba Modu, said that throughout the night no one could sleep in the town as the soldiers engaged the insurgents in gun duel.
A military source also told our correspondent that the Nigerian military was able to repel the insurgents after a fierce gun battle on Thursday.
According to another resident of the town, Yabawa Aji, who spoke in a telephone chat with our correspondent, some of the fleeing residents were among those caught in the crossfire.
He however could not ascertain the casualty figures, as according to him, many fled into the bush for safety.
In a statement confirming the attack on Rann, the Chief of Communication at UNICEF, Eliana Drakopoulus, said: “Late last night, there was fighting in Rann and several structures were burned, including a UNICEF-supported clinic.”
She said: “All UNICEF partner staff are safe. Some have been moved temporarily to Maiduguri, while we assess the security situation. We are doing our best to continue providing lifesaving services – especially WASH, health and nutrition – despite the volatile security situation.
“The attack is the second on Rann this year in which UNICEF-supported staff were affected. On March 1, 2018, an armed attack in Rann resulted in the death of three humanitarian workers and the abduction of three others. Two of the deceased worked with IOM, while Dr. Onyedikachi Izuogu worked with UNICEF. One of the three abducted aid workers, Nurse Alice Loksha, is still being held.
“We call on all parties to the hostilities to ensure safety for humanitarian workers and civilians. Attacks such as these could lead to the withdrawing of humanitarian workers, which could have dire consequences for civilians in the area in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.
“There are currently 76,389 people in Rann, most of whom are being supported with essential humanitarian aid,” she said.
The insurgents attack on Jakana, a distance of 23 kilometres from Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram resulted in temporary suspension of movement on the Maiduguri- Damaturu highway.
A military source said the attack on the town was at exactly about 6:30pm and vehicles had to turn back as the military engaged the insurgents.
Attempts to confirm the attacks from the military were unsuccessful as the spokesman of the Army Brig. Gen. Sani Usman could not be reached on phone. Also, the SMS to his phone was not replied as at the time of filing this report.