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Nigeria: 65 killed in suspected Boko Haram attack

By Darryl Coote
Nigeria: 65 killed in suspected Boko Haram attack
The attack Saturday occurred near the Borno state capital of Maiduguri. Boko Haram has been active in the region over the past 10 years in its attempt to establish an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria. Photo courtesy Google Maps

July 28 (UPI) -- Islamic extremists killed dozens of civilians returning from a funeral over the weekend in northeastern Nigeria, authorities said.

Muhammed Bulama, a local government chairman, said Sunday that Boko Haram gunmen killed at least 65 mourners returning from a funeral Saturday near the Borno state capital of Maiduguri.

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He said 21 people were killed in the initial attack while 44 others were killed while attempting to escape the violence.

Ten people were also injured, eight critically, and were receiving treatment at a local hospital, he said.

In a statement Sunday, spokesman Garba Shehu said President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack and that those responsible "will pay a big price for their action," Nigeria's Premium Times reported.

"The federal government is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to safeguard the nation's security," Shehu said. "This administration is determined to end the menace of terrorism."

He said the Nigerian military has dispatched air and ground forces to bring those responsible to justice.

In the 10 years Boko Haram has been active in Nigeria, tens of thousands have been killed in the group's effort to establish an Islamic caliphate in the country. Some 2 million people have also been internally displaced due to the violence, according to the United Nations.

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