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September 16, 2014

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Hundreds fear extremists, flee north Nigerian city

Updated Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 | 7:01 a.m.

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Residents say hundreds of people are fleeing a major city in northeastern Nigeria, fearing attack as Islamic extremists close in.

One prominent resident says people have no confidence in the military since soldiers are evacuating their own families from Maiduguri. The Borno state capital is the headquarters of the military campaign against the Islamic insurgency and birthplace of Boko Haram.

He described a confused situation with refugees still coming into Maiduguri even as others are fleeing. Three residents spoke Friday on condition of anonymity for fear their flight would anger officials.

Human rights leader Chidi Odinkalu posted a tweet: "After 41 yrs in #Maiduguri, my brother will quit this weekend to escape insurgency; says motor (bus) parks are filled with fleeing residents."

Boko Haram has seized several nearby towns.