A stampede has left more than 5 women and children dead in Gamboru, Borno State, on Saturday when cash and clothes were handed out to thousands of displaced people.
Militia and local people told AFP that a large crowd surged forward for the government aid distribution and people were trampled underfoot in the town of Gamboru, near the Cameroon border, a region hit by jihadist violence.
“Five dead bodies, four women and a little girl, were brought to the hospital along with seven injured,” a medical source said at the hospital.
“We learned that (other) bodies were identified and claimed by relations from the scene,” the source added without specifying how many.
However, Umar Kachalla, who heads a local anti-jihadist militia force, said: “There was a crush which led to the death of 12 women and children and left seven with severe injuries.”
According to the report, while some of the dead were taken to hospital, others were said to be claimed at the site of the stampede.
AFP reports that thousands of women had gathered at a primary school for handouts of 5,000 Naira (13 dollars) and clothing supplied by Borno state governor Babagana Umara Zulum.
“There was a stampede as the distribution was about to start,” in the morning, said local resident Yahaya Bukar, who also counted 12 dead.
Gamboru, a border trading hub, has been repeatedly targeted by Boko Haram insurgents since August 2014 when the jihadists seized the town along with nearby Ngala.
Nigerian soldiers re-took both places a year later with the help of Chadian troops after a series of offensives that lasted months.