Attacks by ISWAP have continued to raise security concerns as they persist in the Northeast region of the country. The group’s attacks on military and civilian targets have led to loss of lives and devastation in the communities. In a worrisome development recently, the group fired 6 projectiles at NAF Base, Maiduguri, killing 6 civilians and leaving several injured in the process. Of note is that children and vulnerable persons were among the casualties of the attack.
The projectiles which were believed to have been fired from Duwari village, landed in 4 different locations including Ayafe, Tashan Joni, Bulunkutu and Ajalari Cross. It would be recalled that on 4 Dec 21, the group had fired 5 mortar bombs into different locations in the city injuring a 6-month-old baby and causing other forms of damage. These are all contrary to claims by ISWAP that it does not attack children and vulnerable persons. More so, a UNDP report revealed that the since the conflict in the NE began, over 350,000 persons including children under the age of 5 have been killed.
The attacks have heightened insecurity levels in Maiduguri and other parts of the region. While the military and other security forces remain resolute in the effort to bring the insurgency to an end, there is also the need step up propaganda drive to support lines of kinetic operations in the region. This can be achieved through the crafting of convincing narratives to discredit the terrorists. The attacks on children is a case in example. Compelling narratives are likely to resonate with the people and encourage them to lend support to the military.