World

Thousands Flee Niger Town After Boko Haram Attacks

In his file image taken from video released late Friday evening, Oct. 31, 2014, by Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, centre, the leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremist group.  Boko Haram fighters have shot or burned to death about 90 civilians and wounded 500 in ongoing fighting in a Cameroonian border town near Nigeria, officials in Cameroon said Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Boko Haram,File)
In his file image taken from video released late Friday evening, Oct. 31, 2014, by Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, centre, the leader of Nigeria’s Islamic extremist group. (AP Photo/Boko Haram, File)

 

NIAMEY (Reuters) – Thousands of civilians fled their homes in the southeastern Niger town of Diffa this week, officials said on Thursday, following waves of cross-border raids and suicide bombings by Nigerian militant group Boko Haram.

Attacks in Niger are deepening a humanitarian crisis in the remote border zone. The area, struggling to feed some 150,000 people who have run to escape violence in northern Nigeria, has seen around 7,000 arrive this week in Zinder, Niger’s second biggest town some 450 km (280 miles) west of Diffa.

The International Rescue Committee, which supplied the population estimates, has teams working on the ground there. Matias Meier, country director, said some families in Zinder, one of the poorest regions in Niger, were having to host 20 people, while other displaced were sleeping in the stadium.

 

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