Hundreds of people in northeast Nigeria who fled a town targeted by militants linked with Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) have sought refuge in capital of Borno state, witnesses said on Saturday.
An uptick in attacks by terrorist groups and the resulting upheaval in the region comes in the run up to an election in which President Muhammadu Buhari will seek a second term. Security has become a campaign issue following a series of attacks.
A faction of Boko Haram, Daesh in West Africa, which split from the insurgency in 2016 claimed responsibility for an attack on a military base in Baga, a town in eastern Borno state, which the Nigerian army said took place on Wednesday evening.
The fight to control Baga - a strategic town as it borders Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon - forced hundreds to seek safety in Maiduguri, some 200 km (124 miles) to the south.
Reuters witnesses saw hundreds of people arriving in Maiduguri and gathering at a bus terminus on the outskirts of the city.
“In Baga, we are in Boko Haram hands because yesterday they were going around with their machine [guns] and motor [vehicles],” Baga resident Abdul Kami said on Saturday, describing the attack on the town.
Residents on Friday said at least 10 people were killed in the attack on Baga.
The Boko Haram insurgency, which Buhari vowed to end when he took office in 2015, has forced about 2.7 million people to flee their homes since 2009 and killed around 30,000.