The Nigerian army has banned the travel of all vehicles in northern Borno state over the Christmas period for fear of attacks by the Islamist group Boko Haram, local media reported on Wednesday.
Neighbouring Yobe state barred vehicles from leaving or entering, it was reported. The bans, which were officially announced on Tuesday, are in force from Wednesday until Sunday. Essential services such as ambulances or firefighters are exempted.
Many planning to travel had already done so, as word of the coming bans started to spread last week. But hundreds of drivers who had rushed to get out of Borno before the ban went into effect were left trapped on highways.
Boko Haram has previously targeted churches during the Christmas season.
The group, which wants to establish an Islamic state, is blamed for the deaths more than 3 500 people in Nigeria’s north this year alone.