UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — About twenty people were killed and others injured in a stampede Monday while distributing food and money to refugees and displaced people in Diffa, northeastern Niger, according to medical and humanitarian sources told AFP.
“We have a temporary death toll of twenty people, most of them women and children, who died during a stampede during the distribution of food and money at the Youth and Culture House in Diffa,” the capital of the southeastern Niger region bordering Nigeria, a medical official said. Humanitarian sources confirmed the death toll and spoke about ten wounded.
Aid from the governor of Borno state in northeast Nigeria, Babagana Umara Zulum, who was visiting a refugee camp for Nigerians fleeing Boko Haram attacks, had settled in Deva since 2015.
The governor had left Deva before the stampede, as confirmed to France Press by a Nigerian official.
“We were distributing food and money, for 5,000 naira (15 euros) per person. There were thousands of people, most of them refugees, who knew about the distribution of aid and left their camps, some of which are located about 100 km from Diffa,” one resident told France Press.
Another narrated, “Even ordinary residents of Deva gathered in the hope of getting help,” adding “many mothers tucked their babies to death.”
The Diffa region, bordering Nigeria, is witnessing several bloody attacks by the Boko Haram jihadist organization. The area is home to more than 3,000 refugees from Nigeria and internally displaced people.
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