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Thousands flee Boko Haram violence in Nigerian town

IANS 15 Nov 2014, 6:24:58 AM IST

Abuja: Thousands of residents fled Chibok town of Nigeria's northeastern state of Borno on Friday as Boko Haram, an outlawed sect which has become a major security threat in the West African country, went on a rampage in the area.

Chibok town, located in the southern part of Borno state, is the place of abduction of more than 200 girls who were whisked away from their school dormitories by the terror group seven months ago, Xinhua reported.

Residents said the armed group stormed Chibok late Thursday and opened fire on local people.

According to Simeon Bala, a resident who witnessed the incident, the insurgents razed many houses, thereby forcing the residents to flee into surrounding bushes.

"The situation is very bad, so bad that we cannot even locate our families. I am hiding in a bush near Damboa (a neighbouring community)," Bala said.

Ali Ndume, a national lawmaker representing southern Borno, also confirmed the development and called for a reinforcement of the local security agencies to come to the aid of the hapless people of Chibok.

He said the insurgents attacked the town barely an hour after Nigerian troops on patrol moved out of the area. But a security source denied the claim, saying "the troops were only deployed to another area of operation".

The security source assured of military readiness to reclaim the area from the rampaging insurgents.

Last Tuesday, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said he was committed toward ending the insurgency of Boko Haram, which has carried out hundreds of attacks in the West African country since 2009.

Thousands of people, including women and children, have been killed in the five-year insurgency of Boko Haram in Nigeria.