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Amnesty: Hundreds killed in detention in Nigeria

LAGOS, Nigeria — Hundreds of people are dying in military detention from shootings, suffocation, or starvation as Nigeria’s security forces crack down on an Islamic uprising in the northeast, Amnesty International said Tuesday.

More than 950 people died in military custody in the first six months of this year, according to ‘‘credible information’’ from a Nigerian Army officer, the rights group said.

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If the number of deaths in military custody cited by Amnesty International is accurate, that means Nigeria’s military has killed more civilians than the extremists did during the first half of 2013.

Amnesty International called for an investigation.

Detainees ‘‘were reportedly shot in the leg during interrogations, provided no medical care, and left to bleed to death,’’ the London-based human rights group said in the report, which includes testimony from freed detainees.

President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe on May 14. The state of emergency gives a Joint Task Force of soldiers, police, intelligence and customs and immigration officials the right to detain people and move them from place to place, as well as the right to search without warrants.

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