ISIS capture Nigerian town trapping dozens of UN aid workers as terror group takes over swathes of Africa

ISIS capture Nigerian town trapping dozens of UN aid workers as terror group takes over swathes of Africa

ISIS has overtaken a Nigerian town trapping 25 UN aid workers as the death cult's terrifying resurrection continues, reports say.

Dozens of brainwashed fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) invaded the town of Dikwa in the northeast state of Borno yesterday.

The extremists set fire to a humanitarian hub and "overpowered" troops from a military base, an army source said.

Dikwa, a military stronghold in the northeast state of Borno, is home to around 100,000 people and has been a flashpoint in the 11-year insurgency waged by Boko Haram and its Islamic State offshoot.

An unnamed soldier said the fighting began on Monday, adding:"We tried our best to repel the attack but they already overpowered us.

"We fled to the bush despite reinforcements from the air force.”

Fighters jets and a helicopter gunship had been deployed to repel the onslaught, a source told France 24.

Several security and military sources confirmed the town's seizure to reporters.

Yet, in a statement, an army spokesman said it had repelled the attack and called reports that militants had trapped aid workers "false and sensational."

A spokesman for the governor of Borno did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.

This comes after the Pentagon warned that ISIS is taking over swathes of Africa like it did in Syria and Iraq with "staggeringly brutal" tactics.

The war against the Islamic extremists in Nigeria has led to at least 36,000 people dying and more than two million being displaced.

Dikwa is one of the military's "super camps" – towns repurposed as defensive strongholds while surrendering control of much of the countryside to the jihadis.

Nigeria's security forces pushed the extremists out of the northeast's major towns in 2015 and 2016, but now face a raft of security challenges across the country's northern states.

Miltants last week rained rocket-propelled grenades on the region's biggest city, Maiduguri, while armed gangs have kidnapped more than 600 kids in the last three months, including 279 girls who were freed today.

No super camp had fallen until Marte in January this year, which was recaptured last week.

Residents in Dikwa said the attackers wore military uniforms and proclaimed themselves "soldiers of the Khalifa", the term used by ISIS's West African branch.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack on the town, which, like many super camps, doubles as a protected hub for people displaced by the conflict, where humanitarian groups build camps and distribute food.

The fighters gathered residents together and preached that they were against the military and anti-Islam forces, three residents said.

The jihadi militants also burned or damaged the premises of aid agencies and a hospital, said a Nigerian security source and Edward Kallon, the UN's Nigeria representative, citing reports.

Mr Kallon said: "I am gravely preoccupied by reports of an ongoing violent attack by non-state armed groups in Dikwa.

"I strongly condemn the attack and am deeply concerned about the safety and security of civilians."

Meanwhile, a Pentagon report said there has been a "marked upward curve" in attacks by ISIS across the African continent, but the "largest and most sophisticated" presence is in west Africa and the Greater Sahara.

"Isis in west Africa is engaging in operations that are increasingly audacious, staggeringly brutal, and worryingly akin to what ISIL, as it was known at the time, was doing early 2014," it said.

In 2019, attacks claimed by Islamic State West Africa Province – or ISWAP for short – occurred in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

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