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Nigeria: Internally displaced Christians celebrate Christmas in Maiduguri

Children orphaned by Boko Haram Islamists play on a merry-go-round in an abandoned amusement park in Maiduguri, Nigeria   -  
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Boko Haram

A number of Christians in a camp for internally displaced persons in Maiduguri north eastern Nigeria gathered to celebrate Christmas despite their woes.

They hoped peace will prevail in their region so that they can celebrate next Christmas in their homes.

"It is precisely six years now since we left our community and we are still here. We are praying to the mighty God to restore peace to our community, we hope to celebrate next year Christmas in our homes and may God mighty in his infinite mercy take us back to our community,"

Locals in and around Maiduguri have fled the decade old insurgency from Boko Haram that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced many from their homes

"Well, we are still internally displaced persons here. If we think back, the turn out (people coming to celebrate Christmas, ed.) isn't as good as it was before, like when we were there in our village but it's really down to the fact that we find ourselves in a situation where many can't go out to celebrate like we used to do before," another displaced person said.

Nigeria's Boko Haram and a splinter group, the Islamic State West Africa Province, have killed 36,000 people and displaced around two million as part of a decade-long conflict.

The jihadist group focuses on military targets, raiding bases, ambushing troops and planting mines on the roads, but recently they have been attacking and abducting civilians.