A helicopter believed to be owned by a Nigerien airliner has been shot down by suspected insurgents around Banki, a border community in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.
Borno is the Nigerian state most affected by the Boko Haram insurgency which has caused tens of thousands of deaths since 2009.
A source familiar with the incident said the helicopter was brought down at about 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
“It was a helicopter with Nigerien details that was shot down this morning, and about five people died,” a source in the area, who is a humanitarian worker, said.
“It happened near Banki town and the military there had moved to the scene,” the source told PREMIUM TIMES.
The source, who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation by his organisation, said he was not sure if the passengers onboard the chopper were military or aid workers.
Banki is a Nigerian community that is on the border with Cameroon.
This incident happened just days after the UN authorities had given a temporary no flying order to all local helicopter services in the northern areas of Borno following a fierce gunfight between soldiers and armed opposition groups on Thursday, November 11.
In July this year, a helicopter conveying aid to parts of northern Borno was hit by a bullet that almost led to the loss of the lives of those on board.
A call to the head of the Borno State’s Emergency Management Agency, Yabawa Kolo, was not answered as her phone rang out without response.
The police spokesperson in the state, Edet Okon, said he was not aware of the incident.
The army spokesperson, Sagir Musa, did not answer several calls to his phone.