By Rafiu Ajakaye
The Red Cross on Tuesday confirmed the killing of its second staff in Nigeria's northeastern region, nearly 24 hours after Boko Haram released a statement announcing the murder of Hauwa Liman, a midwife with the humanitarian body.
Liman had been abducted in March along with two other relief workers in Rann town of northeastern Borno state. Her death came exactly one month after Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, her coworker, was murdered by the terrorist group. The third, Alice Loksha, a UNICEF staff, is now being held as a slave, according to the group.
The Red Cross called the killing a "despicable act of cruelty".
“The news of Hauwa's death has broken our hearts," a statement quoted ICRC's Regional Director for Africa Patricia Danzi as saying.
"We appealed for mercy and an end to such senseless murders. How can it be that two female health care workers were killed back-to-back? Nothing can justify this."
On Tuesday, Nigeria's parliament called for “urgent negotiations” with the group to free other captives still in Boko Haram’s custody, including 15-year-old Leah Sharibu, the lone Christian girl, abducted alongside 112 others in northeastern Dapchi town.
The government had said on Monday it was shocked by the killing despite its offer of negotiations with the insurgents.