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UN team attacked in Nigeria, five dead

Gunmen have attacked a United Nations monitoring team at the Nigeria-Cameroon border, killing five people.

Three Nigerians were among those killed, a UN statement said.

“According to preliminary reports, at around 14:00 hours, yesterday (Tuesday), an unknown armed group attacked a UN Technical Monitoring Team, killing five individuals – a UN independent contractor, three Nigerians nationals and one Cameroonian national – and injuring several others,” the UN envoy for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Chambas, said in a statement.

“The team was conducting a field mission in the vicinity of Hosere Jongbi, near Kontcha, Cameroon, about 700 kilometres north of the capital Yaoundé, as part of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission mandate,” he said.

The UN “strongly condemned” the attack and called on Nigeria and Cameroon to take swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice.

While the attackers have not been identified, the area is within a region where fighters from Islamist militant group Boko Haram are active.

The insurgents have killed more than 15,000 people since 2009 and have recently stepped up suicide bombings.

Taraba State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Silas Sanga, announced that one of those killed was the Assistant Surveyor-General of the state, Zakari Bakari.

He said the deceased included a Kenyan and another Nigerian from Jigawa.

Sanga said Bakari together alongside a UN official and some staff of National Boundary Commission were killed in Koncha village in Cameroun, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

He said the deceased were killed on Tuesday while in the process of demarcating and delineating the Nigeria-Cameroon border in line with the judgement of the International Court of Justice.

He said the deceased entered Cameroun through Toungo Local Government Area of Adamawa to conduct the exercise.

Sanga added that the deceased were members of International Committee set up by the UN to conduct the exercise.

“The Cameroonian authorities have released their corpses and the corpses have just arrived Adamawa as I am talking to you,” Sanga told NAN.
The spokesman of Adamawa Police Command, Othman Abubakar, who confirmed the killing, said he had not received full details.

The UN offered condolences to the families of those killed in the attack and wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

The Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission was established by the UN Secretary-General at the request of Presidents of Cameroon and Nigeria in 2002, to settle border disputes between the two West African neighbours.

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