Conflict & Justice

Nigeria: Suspected Boko Haram militants kill dozens in Borno state


Nigerian soldiers patrol in the north of Borno state close to a former Boko Haram camp on June 5, 2013, near Maiduguri.


Quentin Leboucher/AFP/Getty Images

Nigerian authorities suspect Boko Haram militants are responsible for the deaths of dozens of people in the troubled northeastern state of Borno in recent days.

The latest bloodshed began Thursday when dozens of gunmen on motorbikes and in pick-up trucks attacked a village in the local government area of Bama.

Bama has been repeatedly targeted by the Muslim insurgents, who are seeking to create an Islamic state in the country.

The assailants shot dead 27 people and injured another 12. They also razed some 300 homes, stole motorbikes, cars, livestock and money. 

"Gunmen numbering about 70 riding on about 15 motorcycles and hilux (trucks) attacked the village late Thursday," Baba Shehu, a government official in Bama, was quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying.

"They shot down 27 persons and injured 12 ... About 300 houses were burnt." 

A further 13 people were killed in similar attack in a nearby village on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, gunmen attacked a group of people returning from a wedding in the nearby state of Adamawa State. They killed more than 30 people, including the groom. 

Hundreds of civilians and members of security forces have been killed since the Nigerian army launched an offensive in May to end a deadly insurgency by Boko Haram that has been going on for several years.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has described the attacks by the militants as a “rebellion” and warned Africa’s most populous nation was at “war.”

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