Militants with the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) reportedly attacked the town of Kukawa in northeastern Nigeria on Tuesday, abducting hundreds of people.

Jihadists in nearly two dozen trucks attacked soldiers who were guarding Kukawa on Tuesday, overrunning the town and taking hundreds of people hostage, AFP reported on Wednesday.

The attack came after many in the village had just returned to their homes from a nearby displacement camp in Maidiguri. Attacks by ISWAP and other militants have contributed to the vast number of displaced people in the region; around 300,000 people are estimated to be displaced in and around Maiduguri in makeshift dwellings, according to the UN.

Due to the violence and the new coronavirus pandemic, many in Nigeria’s northeast are in need of humanitarian aid.

A UN official said on August 13 that the pandemic has exacerbated the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region, with the number of people in need of aid at its highest since the international humanitarian response began five years ago.

More than 10.6 million people are estimated to need humanitarian aid in 2020, due to the ongoing violence in the region and the pandemic.

Kukawa has been targeted by militants in the past; Boko Haram attacked several mosques in the village in 2015 and killed nearly 100 people. In 2018, ISWAP militants attacked the town and caused many residents to flee.

Read more at Catholic News Agency

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