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Nigeria church bombing kills 5, caps week of extremist bloodshed

More than 200 people in Nigeria have been killed in attacks by Boko Haram over the past week, according to reports.

By Fred Lambert
Nigeria church bombing kills 5, caps week of extremist bloodshed
A suicide bomber killed up to five worshipers at a church in Potiskum, Nigeria, on Sunday, capping off a deadly week that saw up to 200 people killed across Nigeria in multiple attacks. Image from Google Maps

POTISKUM, Nigeria, July 5 (UPI) -- A suicide bombing at a church in northeastern Nigeria on Sunday marked the latest attack in nearly a week of bloodshed attributed to terrorist group Boko Haram.

At least five worshipers were killed when a suicide bomber detonated at Redeemed Christian Church of God in Potiskum, the BBC reports.

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The attack joins a series of other violent incidents across the country since last week.

On Tuesday Boko Haram militants stormed two villages near the town of Monguno and shot dead up to 48 men at a mosque during or sometime after evening prayers.

The following day, about 50 gunmen reportedly killed 97 people, including women and children, in the village of Kukawa, near Lake Chad, 17 miles northwest of Monguno.

On Thursday, the BBC reports, two female suicide bombers attacked a village in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state, and on Friday further suicide attacks killed scores of people in the village of Zabamari, near the Borno state capital of Maiduguri.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday condemned the wave of violence as a "heinous atrocity."

Buhari was elected in March on a platform of combating corruption and Boko Haram, which has since 2009 waged a campaign of terror and warred with the Nigerian government -- as well as military forces in neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon -- in order to establish an Islamic state.

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The United States last month pledged $5 million to help fund an African Union coalition -- comprising up to 7,500 troops from Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin -- in its fight against Boko Haram.

At least 17,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in northeastern Nigeria since the Sunni extremist group launched its insurgency six years ago, according to Amnesty International.

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