Thousands flee Nigeria for Chad after Boko Haram attacks

More than 7,000 people fleeing deadly attacks by Boko Haram in Nigeria have spilled over the border and into neighboring Chad, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said on Friday.

In response, Chad’s Prime Minister Kalzeubet Pahimi, pleaded to the international community for support in handling the influx of refugees, Reuters reported. Chad’s President Idriss Déby has increased security in the border region due to the violence and also supports peace talks between Nigeria and the militants.

Since last weekend, Boko Haram has razed more than a dozen villages in the northeastern region of Nigeria, including the town of Baga, where it seized control of a military base. Thousands are unaccounted for and feared dead, in what could be the militant group’s deadliest attacks on record.

Nigeria’s northeastern region has been the scene of a five-year battle by insurgents to establish an Islamist state, The Guardian reported.

In September, the U.N. refugee agency called on donors for $34 million to help fund protection and life-saving aid to more than 75,000 refugees in Chad, Cameroon and Niger, who have fled the escalating violence in Nigeria’s Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

In Borno state’s capital and largest city, Maiduguri, a bomb worn by a young girl killed at least 16 people when it exploded in a busy market on Saturday, Reuters reported.

“The explosive devices were wrapped around her body and the girl looked no more than 10 years old,” a police source told Reuters.