50 000 flee Boko Haram attacks in Niger

About 50 000 people have fled a town in Niger’s troubled southeast after deadly attacks by Boko Haram insurgents, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
The attacks began Friday against a military post in Bosso in Niger’s Diffa region, killing 26 soldiers including two from neighbouring Nigeria.
“An estimated 50 000 people or so fled,” UN refugee agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Adrian Edwards told reporters in Geneva.
A total of 55 insurgents from the Nigeria-based Islamist group were killed and “many” injured, according to authorities.
Edwards said most of those fleeing the violence walked westwards to Toumour, around 30km west of Bosso.
“Many people are reportedly traumatised and worried about their safety. People are sleeping in the open and urgently need shelter and other assistance,” he said.
A local journalist working with Radio Anfani told AFP he was sheltering in Toumour with no food, along with many others who fled the violence.
“The Boko Haram gunmen stayed in Bosso from 18:30 (17:30 GMT) on Friday to 03:00 on Saturday, burning the military barracks, police facilities and local administration office before looting shops and carting away food supplies,” he said.
“Everybody started leaving the town and surrounding villages at dawn after the gunmen had left.”
He said that the gunmen used heavy artillery which allowed them to overrun the town’s garrison.

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