Troops kill nine, arrest three suspected Boko Haram terrorists

Nigerien soldiers pictured patrolling near the Nigerian border in 2015, when the country was first plagued by Boko Haram attacks in its southeast region (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo)

Nigerien soldiers pictured patrolling near the Nigerian border in 2015, when the country was first plagued by Boko Haram attacks in its southeast region (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo)

• Borno to rebuild, restore water in ravaged communities
• UNICEF seeks N46b to tackle malnourishment in N’East

In an encounter that lasted for more than an hour, the military on patrol in Bulabulin, Borno State engaged suspected members of Boko Haram, killing nine. It also arrested three others at the Maiduguri cattle market with the assistance of the civilian Joint Task Force (JTF).

Army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman, in a statement, said the troops also wounded several other members of the sect who escaped with the injuries.He said: “The troops’ hand held radio was, however, badly damaged during the encounter. They also captured two AK-47 rifles, two hand grenades, one improvised explosive device (IED), five jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit (popularly known as petrol)) and nine motorcycles.”The three arrested suspects are Abba Go Dallagio, Abba Fanned and Alhaji Nwariye.

Meanwhile, Governor Kashim Shettima says the state government is to rebuild houses and restore water supply to the border towns of Pulka and Gwoza to fast-track the return of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their ancestral homes.

He gave the assurance while addressing IDPs in the two communities that border Cameroun and which were worse hit by insurgency between 2013 and 2014. Also the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) requires $115 million (N46 billion) to “feed and nourish” 400, 000 children in the North East, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders has declared.

The estimated food requirements are based on UN agency’s revised humanitarian appeal for Nigeria from $ 55 million to assist 750,000 additional people who could now be reached across conflict-affected areas.

This was disclosed yesterday in a statement by Nigeria’s Interim Emergency Field Communication Manager, Tim Shenk, in Maiduguri.UNICEF’s Director of Emergency Programmes, Afshan Khan, said: “As new areas open up to humanitarian assistance, the true scale of the Boko Haram-related crisis and its impact on children are being revealed. An estimated 400,000 children under-five will suffer from severe acute malnutrition in three states across the North East this year.

“More than four million people are facing severe food shortages and 65,000 people are living in famine-like conditions, mostly in Borno, the worst affected state. Children’s lives are literally hanging by a thread.”

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