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Nigeria bomb blast hits Yola camp for Boko Haram refugees

NIGERIA – At least three people have died when a bomb exploded at a camp in north-eastern Nigeria for people who have fled their homes because of the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency.

Many thousands of people have fled to camps around Yola
Many thousands of people have fled to camps around Yola

Emergency services told the AFP news agency that the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device.

It occurred at the Malkohi camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) on the outskirts of Yola in Adamawa state.

Yola has been seen as a relative safe place for those fleeing the violence.

The BBC’s Chris Ewokor in Abuja says this is the first attack on a camp for IDPs in the north-east. The explosion happened in a warehouse, emergency services say.

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There are reportedly more than 1,000 children in the camp.

Two million people have been forced from their homes since the militants launched their insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria in 2009.

According to Amnesty International, at least 17,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

Although the militants have been forced out most of the territory they had seized, they are still active and there has been an upsurge in suicide attacks since President Muhammadu Buhari took office in May. BBC

Boko Haram at a glance

  • Founded in 2002, initially focused on opposing Western-style education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria, abducted hundreds, including at least 200 schoolgirls
  • Joined Islamic State, now calls itself “West African province”
  • Seized large area in north-east, where it declared caliphate
  • Regional force has retaken most territory this year