MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, July 29 (UPI) — Suspected Boko Haram insurgents ambushed a U.N. humanitarian aid caravan in northeastern Nigeria, injuring five people and delaying deliveries of supplies.
The Nigerian military reported three civilians and two soldiers in a military escort were injured Thursday, and that the wounded are recovering in a Maiduguri hospital. A U.N. statement said aid deliveries to Borno state, where two million people have been displaced and up to 250,000 children are severely malnourished, were temporarily suspended.
“This was not only an attack on humanitarian workers. It is an attack on the people who most need the assistance and aid that these workers were bringing,” UNICEF, the United Nations’ children’s relief agency, said Thursday in a statement.
The disruption in humanitarian aid comes as fighting continues between Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group, and government and coalition troops, although in the past 18 months Boko Haram has lost most of the territory it gained in Nigeria.
Several weeks ago UNICEF warned that tens of thousands of children in the Borno region were at risk if food and other supplies were not delivered.