Seven women were reportedly trampled to death on Thursday, July 15, during food distribution by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Borno, a medical worker and residents said.
1st News learned that thousands of residents thronged the distribution site in the town of Monguno in Borno State to receive aid from ICRC, but the situation turned chaotic, leading to a stampede.
Monguno, about 140 kilometres (87 miles) north of the state capital Maiduguri, houses tens of thousands of internally displaced people who fled their homes to escape terrorist attacks and also live in sprawling camps.
An eyewitness said, “We have taken the dead bodies of seven women to the hospital; along with four others who are critical.
“There was a stampede as women jostled to collect food vouchers brought by the ICRC.”
According to Fatima Sator, ICRC spokeswoman in Nigeria, the event in Borno was one of the agency’s routine distributions of nutrition for pregnant as well as breastfeeding women.
She did not give details on the number of casualties or the cause of the incident.
“We are concerned and shocked by the loss of the life,” Sator said.
She said ICRC was offering assistance for those wounded.
A medical worker at the general hospital in Monguno also confirmed receiving the casualties from the site.
“We have received seven dead bodies and four injured from the venue of the (food) ticket distribution,” the medical source said.
Displaced communities in Monguno live largely on food handouts from international charities.
The Boko Haram conflict has killed 40,000 people; and forced around two million out of the homes since 2009.
The violence has spilled into parts of neighbouring Niger; Chad; and Cameroon, creating a dire humanitarian crisis.
In February 2020, 20 people were trampled to death in a stampede for food and money; for refugees in the southeastern Niger town of Diffa.