Suspected Boko Haram attack kills dozens in Nigeria

Suspected Boko Haram attack kills dozens in Nigeria

Maiduguri: Suspected Boko Haram extremists killed more than 60 people in an attack on villagers leaving a funeral in north-eastern Nigeria, a local official said on Sunday. It was the deadliest extremist attack against civilians in the region this year.

Muhammad Bulama, council chairman of the Nganzai local government area, told reporters that 11 other people were wounded during the attack on Saturday.

Emergency personnel collect bodies following an attack by suicide bombers at the outskirts of Maiduguri, Nigeria.Credit:AP/File

He called it a reprisal after villagers and civilian self-defence forces fought off a Boko Haram ambush in the area two weeks ago, killing 11 extremists.

The extremists have defied the claims by President Muhammadu Buhari's administration that the insurgency has been crushed.

Nigerians last week marked the grim 10-year anniversary of the Boko Haram insurgency, which has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced millions and created one of the world's largest humanitarian crises. The extremists are known for mass abductions of schoolgirls and putting young women and men into suicide vests for attacks on markets, mosques and other high-traffic areas.

Dozens of Nigerian school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram were freed in 2018.Credit:AP

The extremists, who seek to impose a strict Islamic state in the region, have defied the claims by President Muhammadu Buhari's administration over the years that the insurgency has been crushed.

The violence also has spilled into neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

Nigeria's military did not immediately comment on the attack.

Bunu Bukar, secretary of the Borno Hunters Association, a self-defence group, said the extremists roared up on motorbikes and opened fire on villagers returning from offering funeral prayers for a relative. He said his colleagues had recovered nearly two dozen bodies.

AP

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