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Refugees Fleeing Rebellion in Chad Arrive in Northern Nigeria

Thousands of people have taken refuge in northern Nigerian, say the UN's refugee agency, UNHCR, after fleeing a bloody rebel assault on the Chadian capital of N'Djamena. Hundreds of people died when rebels attacked the capital last week. Sarah Simpson has more from Lagos, Nigeria.

Alphonse Malanda, Nigeria Country Representative for UNHCR, tells VOA that more than 3,000 people have arrived in the northern Nigerian state of Borno, which borders Chad.

"So what we have is that more than 3,000, altogether, persons have arrived and been received by the local government - the Borno State government authority," said Malanda.

Borno State government is currently providing food and shelter for the people, he said.

Over 1,000 of those who have arrived in Nigeria from N'Djamena are Chad refugees, says Malanda.

The remainder are Nigerians, or nationals of other West African countries, who had been living and working in N'Djamena until rebels attacked the city last week.

Malanda says that the arrivals are generally in good health, though badly shaken by their ordeal.

The rebel attack left hundreds dead and thousands more injured in an assault that had aimed to oust President Idriss Deby from power.

However, rebel forces were repelled with support from French military stationed in the country.

UNHCR have registered a further 20,000 Chadian refugees in Cameroon, which also borders Chad. Some aid agencies estimate that up to 500,000 people, or half the population of N'Djamena, have fled the city.