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International aid group offices set ablaze in northeast Nigeria

Insecurity in northeast Nigeria.   -  
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STR/AP2010

Nigeria

Offices of several international aid groups in northeast Nigeria were attacked and set on fire on Saturday.

Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility for these weekend attacks in Damasak, a faction of Islamist extremists aligned with the Islamic State group is suspected to be behind the assaults.

These most recent attacks have renewed fears for the safety of humanitarian workers, who support 8,800 internally displaced people and 76,000 local residents.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said the attack has jeopardised its work and threatened the lives of many of the organisation’s aid workers.

An NRC guesthouse was reported to have gone up in flames -- destroying aid supplies and a number of vehicles.

Nevertheless, a representative of the aid group said the five staff members staying in Damasak escaped unharmed.

This attack is the fourth in Damasak and its surrounding area this year and the second on humanitarians in the past two months in northeast Nigeria.

The region of the country sees a now over decade-long insurgency by militants from Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) aimed at establishing an Islamic state.

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