February 23, 2019 / 6:41 AM / 3 months ago

Suspected Islamists attack Nigerian town hours before poll, residents say

ABUJA (Reuters) - Suspected Islamist militants on Saturday attacked a northeastern Nigerian town, forcing people to flee hours before presidential election polls were due to open, residents said.

“We have fled, along with our wives and children and hundreds of others,” Ibrahim Gobi, who lives in the town of Geidam in Yobe state, said by telephone.

“We are right now running and hiding in the bushes.”Around the same time a Reuters witness said blasts were heard in Maiduguri, the capital of the neighbouring state of Borno.

Northeast Nigeria has been hit by the decade-long Boko Haram insurgency with attacks in recent months carried out by offshoot Islamic State in West Africa Province.

Reporting by Ardo Hazzad in Bauchi and Ahmed Kingimi in Maiduguri; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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