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Nov 26, 1:35 PM EST

Nigeria: Boko Haram kills 20 villagers near Chibok


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BAUCHI, Nigeria (AP) -- Suspected Boko Haram gunmen killed at least 20 people in an attack Monday on two villages on the outskirts of Chibok, the town where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted in April, said a Nigerian civilian defense officer.

Attackers struck Kamtahi and Galtimari villages Monday evening, burning houses and forcing residents to flee, Muhammed Abbas Gava, spokesman of a Nigerian civilian militia, told the Associated Press.

"Virtually every house in the two villages were burnt to ash," said Gava. "The villages were totally razed down as residents fled for their lives, some with injuries."

Borno State police command spokesman, Gideon Jubrin, told AP he was not aware of the incident.

This is part of a string of attacks in Borno state, including two suicide bombings on Tuesday at a crowded marketplace. Dr. Musa Taji, a medical doctor in Maiduguri, said at least 70 people were killed.

On Monday, suspected Boko Haram fighters attacked the village of Damasak, driving into the town with improvised explosive devices and petrol bombs.

Last week, at least 50 people, mostly fishermen were killed in Doron Baga, along the shores of Lake Chad.

"Boko Haram has carried out a series of bombing campaigns since gunmen stole eight trucks of explosive materials from a cement factory in Gombe earlier this month," said Human Rights Watch researcher Mausi Segun.

Borno state has been hit the hardest by Boko Haram's five-year-old Islamic uprising. Nigerian lawmakers are considering extending emergency rule in northeastern Nigeria, which has been in place since May 2013.

More than 1,500 people have been killed by the Boko Haram insurgency this year, according to Amnesty International.

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