People flee Nigerian city after attacks

2012-10-21 18:41
(Supplied)

(Supplied)

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Kano - Hundreds of residents of a northeastern Nigerian city were fleeing on Sunday after three days of Islamist attacks that left at least 31 dead and many buildings and properties razed, witnesses said.

The troubled city of Potiskum had been under security lockdown since Thursday with troops patrolling the streets and residents keeping in-doors for fear of new attacks.

Security was relaxed on Sunday morning and hundreds of residents took advantage to flee the restive city.

"A lot of people are leaving following the relaxing of the lockdown on the city" said a resident.

"Hundreds of residents, especially those living on the outskirts of the city, which have been worst hit by the attacks, are fleeing with their belongings," he said.

"Those of them with cars are stuffing personal belongings into their vehicles and heading out of the city, while others are taking buses and taxis at the garage and along the main road, heading south," he said.

Potiskum, the commercial hub of Yobe state, has been hard hit by near daily attacks by Boko Haram Islamists in recent weeks, prompting heavy deployment of troops and armoured vehicles to forestall fresh violence.

A wave of attacks by suspected Islamists which began on Thursday left at least 31 people dead and several buildings destroyed.

Residents said the toll could be higher as some relations had taken some bodies from the streets for burial.

Boko Haram's insurgency in northern and central Nigeria and the state's military response are believed to have left more than 2 800 people dead since 2009.

Boko Haram has claimed to be seeking an Islamic state in Nigeria, though its demands have repeatedly shifted.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer, is divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south





- SAPA
Read more on:    nigeria  |  boko haram  |  west africa  |  uprisings
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