Nigerian soldier kills aid worker, injures UN helicopter pilot

An army spokesman for Nigeria’s counterinsurgency operations, said investigations are under way into the matter.

A soldier stands guard at a military base in Maiduguri, Nigeria
A soldier stands guard at a military base in Maiduguri, Nigeria, on Wednesday, on June 5, 2013 [FILE: Jon Gambrell/AP Photo]

A Nigerian soldier has shot and wounded a United Nations helicopter co-pilot then killed a humanitarian worker and a fellow soldier at a military base in northeastern Nigeria.

This was announced in a tweet by the Nigerian army on Thursday evening.

The injured co-pilot is on attachment from the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in the northeast, where the military is battling armed groups such as Boko Haram and its offshoots including the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

Samson Nantip Zhakom, the Army spokesman for the counterinsurgency operation, said the unnamed soldier went on to shoot and kill a worker from one of the organisations providing humanitarian support in the region, before turning on a fellow soldier.

“Own troops on the ground immediately neutralised the errant personnel,” said Zhakom, adding that the injured co-pilot had been stabilised at a hospital.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the attack but Zhakom said investigations were under way.

UNHAS provides transport to humanitarian workers who travel to and from Maiduguri city, the capital of Borno state, which is the epicentre of the conflict.

A witness told the Reuters news agency that the soldier approached a UNHAS helicopter inside a military base in Damboa and opened fire on the co-pilot as he tried to escape. He then turned and fired at some humanitarian workers who wanted to board the helicopter.

The UNHAS said it had cancelled all helicopter missions to and from the field until further notice.

Source: Reuters