More than 2,000 people were forced from their homes after a market attack in northeast Nigeria blamed on Boko Haram militants that killed at least 52, a relief agency said Thursday.
Boko Haram church attack
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the region said 4,000 people were “affected” by Sunday’s attack in Kawuri village, Borno state, without giving further detail.
NEMA spokesman Abdulkadir Ibrahim said that in addition “over 2,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) are camped in” a college and primary school in Konduga district.
“Security arrangements are being made to convey relief materials like food, beddings and basic needs to cushion the effects of the displacement of the IDPs,” he added in a statement.
The attack, at about 5:00 pm (1600 GMT), saw heavily armed gunmen disguised as traders storm the village, which is 37 kilometres from the state capital, Maiduguri.
Witnesses said the gunmen arrived in four-wheel-drive vehicles and opened fire with machine guns before setting off homemade bombs that destroyed houses and other property.
Borno state police told AFP on Tuesday that 52 people had died, although local officials and the leader of the civilian vigilante group in the area said they had buried 85.
The attack came on the same day that at least 26 people were killed when suspected Boko Haram gunmen fired on worshippers during a service at a Roman Catholic church in neighbouring Adamawa state.
Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states were placed under emergency rule in May last year to try to end the insurgency, which has claimed thousands of lives since 2009.
Attacks have continued, most of them in rural areas of Borno, which borders Cameroon and Chad to the northeast and east, and Niger to the north.
The United Nations said last Friday that 4,000 people had fled northeast Nigeria to Cameroon and 1,500 to Niger since mid-January, both as a result of the insurgency and the military response to it.
More than 12,400 Nigerians are currently in Cameroon; 8,000 have fled to Niger with 30,000 Niger nationals who had been living in Nigeria.