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Gunmen Kill 23 in Attacks in Northern Nigeria

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Suspected Islamist militants have killed 23 people in two separate attacks in northern Nigeria.

In the deadliest of the two, suspected Islamic gunmen opened fire at a market in Borno state killing 18 people late Monday.

Local Chief Abba Ahmed says the attack occurred in the village of Damboa in Borno state.

The cause of the attack is unclear, but according to locals the gunmen may have targeted local hunters over their choice to sell "bush meat" such as pork and monkeys, forbidden by local Muslims.

In a separate incident Tuesday, suspected Islamist gunmen riding on motorbikes shot dead five people playing an outdoor board game in the northern city of Kano.

Two people were seriously wounded.

Authorities believe both attacks were carried out by members of the radical Islamic sect Boko Haram.

The group is responsible for hundreds of killings in the past year as part of its campaign for the stricter application of sharia, or Islamic law, in northern Nigeria.

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