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Nigerian city on alert after Boko Haram advance

Mohammed Bako stared out at the teeming Jimeta market in Nigeria’s Yola city, looking for anything suspicious amongst the hawkers selling cheap phones and cars attempting near impossible turns down narrow alleys.Bako runs a box-size phone shop in the market, but 18 months ago took on a new job as head of the local vigilante force working with the military against Boko Haram.Two days earlier, the Islamists carried out deadly attacks, including at a market, in the two other northeast state capitals that have been under emergency rule: Damaturu and Maiduguri.

“This is what makes us wake up,” Bako said, warning that complacency in Yola could lead to disaster.Several suspected insurgents have been arrested in Jimeta market in recent months, he said, in a claim backed by local media reports.Bako refused to be identified in pictures or on video, for fear of being targeted by the Islamist rebels blamed for more than 13,000 deaths since 2009.Threats are rising, he added, but said he was unfazed and prepared to give his life defending Yola. A late October offensive by Boko Haram in the north of Adamawa stunned many in its capital Yola, which had previously been removed from the conflict.

Agencies

Agencies

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