Death toll rises to 161 in insurgent attack in northeastern Nigeria

Sept. 20, 2013 at 3:50 PM

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- At least 161 people near a northeastern Nigeria town are believed dead from a terrorist attack after 87 more bodies were found Friday, officials say.

Another 55 bodies were found Wednesday along a road in Borno State after an attack by suspected Boko Haram gunmen earlier this week, Abuja's Daily Trust reported.

Officials say heavily armed insurgents laid siege to the town of Benisheik Tuesday night. They killed residents and set fire to buildings and also blocked a major highway between Borno and neighboring Yobe state, where they fired on travelers.

Most of the dead – 142 – were traveling on the highway. Some 14 residents of Benisheik were killed, along with two soldiers and three police officers, the newspaper said.

Borno State Gov. Kashim Shettima termed the attack "barbaric and un-Islamic."

He announced the release of $310,000 to rebuild 100 homes and shops in Benisheik. Another $22,000 will be divided among the families of the 14 dead villagers.

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