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An attack on a northeastern town by Boko Haram militants has caused more than 15,000 Nigerians to flee their homes, an emergency official said.

The Islamist group’s latest attack left at least 21 people dead.

Residents are fleeing from Damboa and areas surrounding the town in fear for their lives, Abdulkadir Ibrahim, a spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency in Borno state, told reporters today in Maiduguri, the region’s capital.

The banner of the group, which is fighting to impose Islamic law on Africa’s top oil producer, was hoisted in Damboa after the attack on July 18. The trading town, located about 85 kilometers (53 miles) outside Maiduguri, is under Boko Haram’s control, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported today, citing a local vigilante leader it didn’t identify.

According to Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Chris Olukolade, troops are preparing to “reverse current insecurity” in the Damboa area.

“The Nigerian military will not concede any portion of this country to any such group,” he said.

It has been 100 days since Boko Haram abducted 276 schoolgirls from their dormitories in the northeastern town of Chibok, most of whom are still missing.

In the first six months of this year alone, the militants killed at least 2,053 civilians in 95 attacks.

SOURCE: Bloomberg | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.

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