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Suspected Boko Haram Attacks Kill Nearly 150 in Northern Nigeria


Kukawa, Nigeria
Kukawa, Nigeria

Suspected Boko Haram militants have killed nearly 150 people in attacks in northeastern Nigeria.

In the worst attack, officials said 97 people were killed in the town of Kukawa near Lake Chad Wednesday evening. According to witnesses, gunmen entered mosques and shot men as they prayed before the end of the Ramadan fast, then attacked people's homes and shot women preparing meals.

In a separate incident, militants invaded a village near the town of Monguno late Tuesday and killed 48 people. Witnesses said the gunmen ordered men and women to separate and then opened fire on the men.

Both towns are in Borno state, the epicenter of the six-year Boko Haram insurgency. The state has seen a surge of attacks blamed on the Islamist extremist group since President Muhammadu Buhari took office May 29.

Last month, the president moved the military's command center to the state capital, Maiduguri, as part of efforts to crush Boko Haram. Nigeria and four nearby countries also are setting up a regional military force to fight the group.

Boko Haram, whose name in the Hausa language means "Western education is a sin," has attacked countless villages, markets, bus stations, government buildings and places of worship since launching its uprising in 2009.

The insurgency has driven an estimated 1.5 million Nigerians from their homes.

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