BOSSO, Niger – Nigerian officials are pleading with refugees to come home, visiting thousands who have fled across borders to escape an Islamic uprising.
Deputy Gov. Zannah Mustapha of Borno state visited the neighboring nation of Niger on Saturday, the same day Islamic militants killed 29 students and a teacher in neighboring Yobe state.
Mustapha said there is adequate security to protect refugees from further attacks in their northeastern desert hometown of Mallam Fatori.
But refugees indicated they are scared of the soldiers too.
Taxi driver Madi Bukar said soldiers three weeks ago attacked a Mallam Fatori house where a resident was treating wounded extremists. He said the fighters fled but many houses were burnt afterward. Human rights groups say security forces have indiscriminately killed civilians in fighting to end the insurgency.