- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Islamist militants have pushed out 19,000 rice farmers from their northeastern Nigeria properties, at the peak of the harvest season and at a time when the government has declared a food emergency.

Those who have not been driven from their fields are nonetheless prevented from farming by armed soldiers, The Associated Press reported.

This is the latest in a long line of Islamic-inspired violence; militants have killed more than 150 in the region since the beginning of the year, AP said. Soldiers have been targeting civilians, killing dozens.

Agriculture commissioner Usman Zannah said food shortages are entering their fifth week of emergency status, AP reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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