In Niger, fifteen women and five children have died after being trapped in a stampede while trying to receive food and money for refugees.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Diffa, southeastern Niger, depend on food handouts to survive

The accident occurred at a youth and culture centre in Diffa, the main town of a region of the same name that hosts more than a quarter of a million refugees and internally displaced people.

“Unfortunately, fifteen women and five children died… in this regrettable drama,” Issa Lemine, the regional governor of Diffa, said on television after visiting the injured in hospital.

Aid workers confirmed the death toll and said about 10 people had been injured.

The region which abuts Nigeria and Chad has been repeatedly hit by attacks by Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadist group since 2015.

It hosts 119,000 Nigerian refugees, 109,000 internally-displaced people and 30,000 Nigeriens who have come home from Nigeria because of the instability in its northeast, according to UN figures released in October.

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