Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nigerian soldiers accused of abuses after deadly bomb attack

10 October 2011

KANO, Nigeria — Nigerian troops were accused of burning homes and shooting indiscriminately on Monday after a bomb attack in the country's northeast blamed on Islamists which killed a soldier and a civilian.

A military spokesman denied soldiers had carried out abuses and said the bomb blast in the violence-torn city of Maiduguri set off a fire fed by petrol canisters along the roadside that took three hours to douse.

"We have been forced to abandon our homes by shooting and burning of homes and vehicles by soldiers following the attack on their patrol vehicle," one resident said by phone. "Everybody is fleeing."

Another resident gave a similar account.

It was not the first time the military has been accused of abuses in Maiduguri, where thousands of residents have previously fled fearing further violence by Islamists and reprisals by soldiers.

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