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Children displaced as a result of Boko Haram attack in the northeast region of Nigeria, attend a class at Maikohi secondary school camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) in Yola, Adamawa State January 13, 2015. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

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GENEVA (Reuters) - Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said on Wednesday that Nigerian children are dying at high rates from malnutrition and disease in a growing humanitarian emergency in the northeast.

The medical charity called on the United Nations to set up a steady food pipeline to the area being reclaimed by the Nigerian army from Boko Haram militants, where MSF said more than 500,000 people and possibly 800,000 have been cut off.

"The situation is a large-scale humanitarian disaster," MSF general director Bruno Jochum told a news briefing in Geneva. "We are talking at least about pockets of what is close to a famine situation."

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Larry King)

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