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UN, EU decry increasing attacks on aid workers, civilians

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• Security operatives demolish another bandits’ hideout in Katsina
The United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) have lamented increasing attacks on civilians and aid workers rendering humanitarian assistance to the people.

In a joint statement by the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon and EU Commissioner, Janez Lenarcic, in
Maiduguri, Borno State, said: “The increased attacks by non-state armed groups and military operations have led to waves of massive displacement of people.

According to Kallon and Lenarcic, the incessant attacks and military operation have resulted into increased humanitarian needs and protection risks in 2019.

They said that the number of people in need of urgent assistance rose from 7.1 million in 2019 to 7.7 million this year.

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Kallon said the crisis had limited people access to food, trade and basic services, as over two million had already fled their homes in search of safety and shelter.

Besides, he disclosed that the provision of assistance to victims of crisis would gulp $869 million (312.84 billion) this year.

Meanwhile, another bandits’ hideout was at the weekend demolished by a joint security operation in Yartalata Village in Kafur Local Council of Katsina State.

The hideout serves as operation base, as well as detaining centre for kidnapped victims for bandits terrorising the area.

The joint security operation consisted of state government representatives, as well as military, state security and police personnel.

Spokesman for the police command, Superintendent of Police (SP) Gambo Isah, said the house belonged to one Ibrahim Masaja who is allegedly the kingpin of the bandits in the area.

Isah, who stated that on January 18, 2020 at about 3.00 a.m., a team of policemen raided the house and rescued one Paul Lawal, 25, who was kidnapped at staff quarters of Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Malumfashi, said that during the police operation, the said victim was discovered chained in a hut within the premises of Masaja’s house, adding that the police succeeded in arresting one of the suspected bandits, Muhammadu Bello, while two others were shot dead during gunfire exchange.

He, however, said that the owner of the house is at large.

The arrested suspect, Bello, who led the security team to the house, said he and the others had kidnapped Lawal on January 4, 2020 and demanded N15 million ransom.

He claimed to be a first timer who was lured into the nefarious business of kidnapping by those already killed by the police.

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