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Apr 16, 11:39 AM EDT

20 killed as Islamic extremists rampage in Nigeria

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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) -- Officials say suspected Islamic militants killed 20 people including a traditional ruler in northeast Nigeria, the latest in a string of attacks in recent days.

Politician Hyeldi Bwala says gunmen marched into the palace of a district monarch in Sabon-Kasuawa and gunned him down along with his security guard.

Two officials say gunmen Wednesday attacked a village in Gwoza district and killed 18 people. Just last week the emir of Gwoza, the district's traditional ruler, had appealed to the government to "save our souls," saying his people were being attacked daily.

On Monday a massive explosion killed 75 people in Abuja, the capital, and on Tuesday gunmen kidnapped about 100 female students in the northeast.

The attacks strengthen doubts about the Nigerian military's ability to contain the 5-year-old Islamic uprising.

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