Citizens fleeing Boko Haram threat, U.N. says

Jan. 30, 2014 at 12:34 PM

ABUJA, Nigeria, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- More than 35,000 people from Niger and Nigeria have been displaced by Boko Haram violence in northern Nigeria, the United Nations says.

The U.N.'s Integrated Regional Information Networks reports as many as 37,000 people have fled northeastern Nigeria in the last two years to escape terrorists from Boko Haram. IRIN said the aid response has been slow and the situation is getting worse.

Boko Haram was accused of killing more than 100 people in villages in northern Nigeria in recent days. IRIN reported Thursday more than 500 people have fled the area since Jan 18.

Kelli Moustaph, a field officer with the U.N. Refugee Agency, said three children drowned trying to navigate a river crossing from Nigeria to Niger, IRIN reports.

The British government issued at travel alert Monday for Nigeria following the attacks.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency over parts of the country in response to the Boko Haram threat last year. In August, the International Criminal Court said it determined there was "a reasonable basis" to believe Boko Haram committed crimes against humanity in Nigeria.

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