Army Justifies Raid On UN Building, Says Boko Haram 'Changed Tactics'

Boko Haram Leader Shekau Not Arrested As Nigerian Troops Raid 'UN Staff Residence', 29 Other Homes In Maiduguri

The Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon, has condemned the "unauthorized search" of a United Nations base for humanitarian workers in Maiduguri, Borno State.

It said at 5am on Friday, members of the Nigerian security forces entered the United Nations base for humanitarian workers in Maiduguri "without authorization".

The U.N. says it has no information "regarding the reason or motivations for the unauthorized search".

"At about 2am early this morning, Nigeria army troops in trucks are conducting cordon and search on United Nations red roof humanitarian camp and forced their way into the property", the United Nations said in an advisory note to staff.

"I am extremely concerned that these actions could be detrimental to the critical work that is being carried out every day to support the most vulnerable in the region and I call upon the Government of Nigeria to provide clarification", said the United Nations coordinator.

But in a statement issued by Kingsley Samuel, a lieutenant colonel, the army said it carried out a search on the property because it had credible intelligence that some Boko Haram insurgents had infiltrated the area.

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He said that the clearance operations effort had yielded significant successes in the past weeks.

Kingsley noted that troops under the Operation LAFIYA DOLE had been conducting several clearance as well as cordon and search operations in urban and rural areas within the Theatre. On 10th August 2017, Theatre Command received information from one of its credible sources that some high-value BHT suspects had infiltrated into Pompomari Bye Pass.

"It, therefore, became expedient to take pre-emptive action by combing the general area through a cordon and search operations".

As a result of the change added the statement, the cordon and search initiative has been intensified in Maiduguri metropolis and surrounding communities.

Samantha Newport, Head of Communications, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Nigeria, in a statement, quoted Kallon as saying this on Friday in Abuja. "The operation was successfully conducted, as over 30 houses were searched", the statement disclosed.

"The command wishes to assure the general public that the operations are being conducted to safeguard lives and properties but not targeted at any individual or group. The general public is cautioned to avoid peddling rumours which may cause disaffection and to remain law abiding", the Army statement read.

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