A Nigerian lawmaker says 20,000 refugees have fled to Cameroon from northeastern villages that have become hideouts for Islamic militants.

Community leader Sadiqui Ali said people also fled attacks by the Nigerian military. He said innocent civilians were among 13 people shot and killed by soldiers.

Refugee Suleiman Dalhatu told The Associated Press Tuesday that he fled because Christians settling scores with Muslims had put his name on a list of suspected extremists given to the military. His claim was vigorously denied by Christians at Ashigashiya town in northern Cameroon.

Religious tensions are rising in three areas where Nigerians have camped in Cameroon.

Nigeria declared a state of emergency covering one-sixth of the country last month as it confronts its worst security threat in years.