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15,000 flee Boko Haram attack in northeast Nigeria

10,000 residents of Damboa, a town in northeast Nigeria, were forced to flee an attack by Boko Haram. The Islamist militant group has seized control of the town.
By JC Finley   |   July 22, 2014 at 1:04 PM

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ABUJA, Nigeria, July 22 (UPI) -- Boko Haram attacked a town in northeast Nigeria, seizing control of the town, and forcing its 10,000 residents to flee.

Boko Haram launched the assault the evening of July 17 against the town of Damboa using rocket-propelled grenades, explosives, and guns in the attack. 66 residents were killed.

A community spokesman, Sheriff Muhammad said, "We lost 46 people on Thursday through Friday in Damboa and the gunmen pursued people who fled to nearby Fori and Kwairi villages where they killed 20 more."

At the end of the raid, Boko Haram raised its signature black flag over the town.

"This is the first major town that has fallen to them, and it is located on a strategic road, Borno State Gov. Kashim Shettima told the New York Times.

Nigeria's defense ministry noted that Boko Haram had attacked Damboa's military base and police station on July 4. In that attack, 50 militants were killed, raising the possibility that the attack on the town was carried out in retaliation.

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