Fire kills five in displaced persons' camp in Nigeria

2018-03-27 14:26

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Five people were killed when a fire broke out in a camp housing thousands displaced by Boko Haram violence near the Nigerian border with Cameroon, military and civilian sources told AFP.

The incident happened on Monday in a camp for around 55 000 internally displaced persons (IDP) in the town of Rann, 175km east of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, they said.

"There was a fire outbreak in the IDP camp... which killed five people, three women and two children," a senior military officer in the town said.

Several people suffered burns, dozens of livestock were lost and around 200 makeshift tents were destroyed, the officer said.

A civilian guard assisting the military in the town said the blaze was caused by flying embers from open fires.

"The fire started in the morning while residents of the camp were making breakfast in the open and the morning breeze carried some splinters to the shelters," the militiaman, Kaka Ari, told AFP.

Rann, where nearly 80 000 people are living with the help of international aid agencies, has been vulnerable to attacks from Boko Haram.

On March 1, heavily-armed Boko Haram fighters killed three aid workers and abducted a female nurse, prompting aid agencies to suspend operations.

In January 2017, a botched Nigerian air strike intended to hit jihadist fighters killed at least 112 people as aid workers distributed food.

The Boko Haram insurgency which began in 2009 has claimed at least 20 000 lives and forced some 2.6 million to flee their homes, sparking a dire humanitarian crisis in the region.

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Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

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