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About 70 people killed in Boko Haram attack in northern Nigeria

About 70 people including women, children and the elderly have been killed in a suspected jihadist attack in north-eastern Nigeria.

Gunmen entered a remote village in the Gubio district of Borno state on Tuesday afternoon, killing dozens.

The village was also razed, in what is believed to have been a reprisal attack, according to local reports.

The attacke believed to be Boko Haram and their ISWAP affiliates were said to have returned on Wednesday morning between 5 and 6 am to set the villages fire. 

The AFP news agency said that 59 bodies had been recovered, while Reuters reported that 69 people were killed.

Reuters reported that the militants suspected villagers of sharing information about their movements to security forces, while AFP said jihadist fighters had been killed by locals trying to protect livestock.

While it is unclear who carried out the attack, both the jihadist group Boko Haram and an offshoot which fights under the banner of the Islamic State group have carried out deadly attacks in the north-east of Nigeria.

A community leader who asked not to be named said the attackers had mown down the 69 “men, and children” as they watched over their cattle at a watering hole outside the village.

“Our people were caught off guard by the gunmen who surrounded them,” the leader said.

“It is an open field with nowhere to hide. They couldn’t escape, they couldn’t outrun the vehicles.”

Local leaders said earlier that the attack was thought to be in reprisal for the killing of jihadists by a community self-defense group formed to stop cattle thefts.

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Boko Haram, which sparked global outrage in 2014 when they abducted more than 270 schoolgirls in Chibok in Borno state, is also active in neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

In March, its militants ambushed and killed at least 47 Nigerian soldiers in the country’s north east, before killing almost 100 soldiers in Chad the following day.

The group’s decade-long insurgency has left thousands dead and displaced many more.

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