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At Least 59 Killed in Latest Nigeria Violence

Authorities in northern Nigeria state say gunmen have killed at least 59 people in attacks on two small towns near the state capital, Maiduguri.

In one attack on Sunday, gunmen dressed in military uniforms entered the village of Konduga in Borno state and opened fire on the people praying at a mosque. They also set fire on nearby houses. Local police say 47 people were killed and 39 others were wounded. Some 50 houses were burned.

District chief of Konduga Zannah Masu Yale said some of the attackers were women. Borno state Governor Kashim Shettima visited the village Tuesday and promised compensation to the families of the victims.

In a separate attack, gunmen entered the village of Ngom on Saturday and killed 12 people.

There has been no claim of responsibility but officials suspect the radical Islamist group Boko Haram was behind the attacks.

Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for many previous attacks in northeastern Nigeria, including some on mosques whose clerics have denounced religious extremism.



A new video emerged Monday by Boko Haram's self-declared leader, Abubakar Shekau. In it, he claims responsibility for several recent attacks, including those in the towns of Bama, Malam Fatori and Gamboru.

He also urged Nigerians to abandon the country's constitution and accept Islamic law.

Boko Haram has been blamed for thousands of deaths since launching an uprising against the government in 2009.

The group says it is fighting to impose a strict form of Sharia on Nigeria's Muslim-majority north. Its name in the Hausa language means "Western education is sinful."

Borno is one of three northeastern states where President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency and deployed additional troops in May to fight Boko Haram. Rights groups have criticized the military for heavy-handed operations they say have led to hundreds more deaths.

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