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In Nigeria, Boko Haram Attack Kills 45 Villagers

Borno state, Nigeria
Borno state, Nigeria

At least 45 villagers were killed this week after suspected Boko Haram militants attacked a village in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state.

According to local sources, Boko Haram militants riding in trucks stormed the village of Azaya Kura in the Mafa area at about noon local time Wednesday and started attacking residents and destroying houses. The militants also carted away foodstuff, wares and livestock.

An official of the Nigeria Vigilante Group, Muhammed Gava, confirmed to VOA by phone that "there was an attack and many people were killed, according to the reports we got from the Vigilante officials from that axis."

Jabir Usman, a local from the attacked community, discussed the death toll with reporters in Maiduguri.

"From what we counted so far, 45 men have been killed and there are others that died in the bushes… due [to] excessive bleeding after sustaining bullet injuries," Usman said.

Alhaji Shettima Lawan, the caretaker chairman of Mafa Council, said he visited Azaya Kura on Thursday to confirm the attack.

"I am still searching for motives behind mass killing and destruction by some people under the guise of entrenching certain religion," he said. "I wish to appeal to the federal government to take urgent steps and rescue our people from imminent extinction."

He said village residents told him that attackers burned more than 50 motorcycles and four cars and took away four other vehicles.

The chairman said corpses of people who'd been decapitated or shot were still being pulled out of bushes to be prepared for burial.

Mafa town is about 40 kilometers from Maiduguri.

Most residents in Mafa, the headquarters of the Mafa local council, fled their homes nearly two months ago after Boko Haram assailants established their authority in the area.

Attacks on surrounding villages have continued unabated, but few are reported to the public.