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Nigerians flee Islamic attacks by the thousands

media The Nigerian army protecting the northeastern city of Maiduguri AFP

Thousands have fled the Nigerian city of Maiduguri after a week’s worth of Islamic attacks wounded and killed several people. Hundreds of troops have been deployed in an attempt to stop the sect known as Boko Haram, which has been blamed for the violence.

On Tuesday, a blast targeting a patrol team ripped through the city, wounding two soldiers and killing three alleged attackers.

A nurse at the local hospital told the AFP news agency that four people had been killed by what appeared to be stray bullets.

Residents have started to pack their belongings and load up cars, hoping to leave Maiduguri. The local university closed its doors indefinitely due to security concerns on Monday. Most of its 35,000 students come from other parts of the country.

Many are fleeing after soldiers were accused of shooting civilians, according to residents. Mainasara Mukhtar told the AFP news agency that he was leaving for fear of violence in his neighbourhood.

“Fliers were anonymously distributed in the neighbourhood warning of impending attacks and residents moved out to avoid being killed by soldiers as it happened in Kalari (neighbourhood),” Mukhtar said.

The northeastern city of Maiduguri has seen the brunt of the violence by Boko Harem, which has intensified in recent weeks.

Attacks have included frequent bomb blasts and shootings. Last weekend, a shootout between soldiers and suspected sect members left at least 11 dead.



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