Islamic State says aid-workers in its custody, Nigeria begs for mercy
Islamic State’s West Africa Branch (ISWA) has said it is responsible for the kidnap of six aid workers in northeast Nigeria. Meanwhile, Nigerian government is pleading to the Islamic terrorist organisation for mercy on behalf of the victims.
Aid agency, Action Against Hunger, identified a staff member and five others kidnapped last week in a video released on Wednesday.
The video showed the kidnapped aid workers asking for help from the government and the international community to secure their release.
On Thursday, the Nigerian government said it was negotiating with the captors, but declined to give further information.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in its weekly newspaper.
The group split from Boko Haram in 2016 and has carried out a number of attacks in Nigeria’s north-east and the Lake Chad region in the last few months, often targeting military bases.
In October 2018 the group killed an aid worker it had kidnapped in March the same year.
A video shows an aid worker, who gives her name as Grace, asking for help from the international community
The Nigerian government says it is negotiating with captors of the six aid workers abducted last week in the north-east of the country.
The news comes after a video of the aid workers emerged.
In the video the only female among them made a passionate appeal to the authorities and the international community to facilitate their release.
The hostages, who work with aid agency Action Against Hunger, were abducted last week in Borno state when suspected Boko Haram militants ambushed their convoy and killed one of their drivers.
Government spokesperson Garba Shehu told the BBC that the authorities are hopeful the aid workers would be freed.
Mr Shehu has not given details of the negotiations but he called on the captors to show mercy.
Earlier, Action Against Hunger said the six – comprised of one staff member, plus drivers and health workers employed locally – are “apparently in a good condition of health”.
The kidnapping has once again highlighted the risks humanitarian workers face as they try to deliver aid to millions of people affected by the Boko Haram conflict in the Lake Chad region.
Last year, two female staff members from the International Committee of the Red Cross were abducted and executed by militants in north-east Nigeria.