The Nigerian Army on Monday denied the killings of civilians in an attack coordinated by the Boko Haram insurgents against the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP’s) trucks on Saturday.
Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, gave the clarification in a Short Service Message (SMS) to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri.
Nicholas said contrary to reports credited to WFP, the troops escorting the trucks killed six insurgents and recovered weapons.
He explained that there were no civilian casualties in the attack, adding that he was at Dikwa when the incident occurred.
“There was an ambush but the soldiers killed six Boko Haram insurgents and recovered weapons. No civilian was killed.
“I was in Dikwa that Saturday and this happened while I was within,” Nicholas said.
However, the Wold Food Programme (WFP) on Sunday said a driver of its hired truck and three other persons were killed in an attack at Ngala in Gamboru-Ngala Local Government Area of Borno.
Adedeji Ademigbuji, the Communication Associate of the WFP, said in a statement issued in Maiduguri that a convoy of the WFP’s hired trucks conveying food items were attacked by gunmen 35 kilometres South-West of Ngala on Saturday.
He disclosed that the convoy escorted by the military were conveying foodstuff for distribution to the vulnerable Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the area.
He said that a driver of the hired truck, his assistant and two other persons were killed in the attack.
“WFP confirmed that a convoy escorted by the Nigerian Military including WFP hired trucks were subject of attack by armed groups, 35 km southwest of Ngala in Borno, on Dec. 16.
“Four people, including the driver of a WFP hired truck and his assistant, were killed in the incident.
“WFP is working with the authorities to determine the whereabouts of the trucks,” Ademigbuji said.