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Boko Haram launches repeat attack on strategic town; 2,000 missing

More than 2,000 residents of Baga, a strategic town in Nigeria's northeastern Borno State, were missing following Wednesday's attack by Boko Haram militants.

By
JC Finley

ABUJA, Nigeria, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Boko Haram militants waged a second attack Wednesday against Baga, a strategic town in northeastern Nigeria, burning down nearly the entire town.

More than 2,000 residents of Baga were missing following the attack. With dead bodies visible in the town's streets, there was concern they had all been killed.

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"The whole area is covered in bodies," Ahmed Zanna, a senator for Borno State where the attack happened, told NBC News.

In addition to the destruction of Baga, the militants also attacked "10-20" nearby communities in the past week, Zanna reported.

The attack on Baga Wednesday followed an assault on the town's military base, which hosts the Multi-National Joint Task Force, early Saturday. Government troops, some without weapons, attempted to repel the attack but were forced to flee into the town.

On Monday, Nigerian lawmaker Maina Maaji Lawan estimated that Boko Haram controlled 70 percent of Borno State.

Boko Haram began a campaign of terrorism in Nigeria in 2009, attempting to create an Islamic state and to deny Western-style education. Thousands of people have been killed, mostly in northeastern Nigeria since the attacks began. The United States declared it a terrorist group in 2013.

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