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Boko Haram attacks kill 400 Nigeria villagers: official

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-06-2014 Gbenga Akingbule

Maiduguri: An attack by suspected militants from the Boko Haram Islamist group left at least 400 people dead in three villages in northeastern Nigeria, according to a local official.

The attackers, some disguised in military uniforms, raided the villages on 3 June using sophisticated weapons and started killing from house to house, Abba Aji Khalil, chairman of a local vigilante group set up to combat the militants, said by phone late Wednesday. Yuguda Ndurvua, a local clergyman, said many villages in the area are being attacked almost on a daily basis.

Boko Haram’s violent campaign to impose Islamic law in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, is attracting growing international condemnation, especially after the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in April. Recent attacks condemned by world leaders are only the latest in a five-year conflict that has left thousands dead.

The US is among several countries to send advisers and military personnel to help with the search for the missing girls.

President Goodluck Jonathan, whose government has come under fire for failing to crush the insurgency or prevent the kidnapping of the girls, has sought to highlight ties between Boko Haram and al-Qaeda, and call it a continent-wide threat. His critics say it’s mostly an internal Nigerian issue.

Jonathan prayed on Wednesday with Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who visited the capital, Abuja.

The Archbishop, the most senior bishop in the Anglican denomination of Christianity, paid a pastoral call on President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja to express his personal pain and condolence about the ongoing terrorism affecting parts of North Nigeria, Welby said on his website.

The vast majority of people Boko Haram has killed have been villagers in the majority-Muslim northeast, though the group has also carried out attacks in the capital, Abuja. BLOOMBERG

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