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Boko Haram guns down 37 in Nigeria

MAIDUGURI: Suspected Boko Haram gunmen killed 37 people in raids on five villages around Maiduguri, the capital of northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, a military source and a local village defence group said on Friday.

The Islamist militants, who arrived on motorcycles and in four-wheel drive vehicles, fired into houses and shot fleeing locals on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, the military source said.

“Reports indicated a total of 37 people were killed by the insurgents during the separate attacks,” said the source.

Malum Idrissa, a member of a village defence group known locally as the Civilian Joint Task Force, confirmed the death toll and said the villages were around 90km from Maiduguri.

Details of the attack emerged a day after new President Muhammadu Buhari held a summit with regional counterparts to set up a joint military force to counter Boko Haram.

The militant group has killed thousands and left around 1.5 million displaced during a six-year insurgency during which it has tried to create a so-called ‘caliphate’ in the northeast of Africa’s most populous nation and top oil exporter.

Maiduguri, the city closest to the scene of the attacks, this week became the new site of the Nigerian military command centre for operations to fight Boko Haram.

More than 80 people were killed in bomb blasts in the city last week, amid a resurgence in activity by the insurgents.


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