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Boko Haram kills 56 in remote part of Borno State

boko-haramMaiduguri: The governor of Borno in north-east Nigeria says Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has killed 56 villagers in a remote area of his state.

Kashim Shettima on Sunday confirmed the attack without providing more details, during a meeting with the parents of the 219 girls abducted from a school in the region by the extremists last year. Thursday marked 500 days of captivity of the girls from a school in Chibok.

Fleeing residents of Baanu village say they were attacked by the Boko Haram on Friday night.

“We returned back to the village in the morning after spending the night in the bush, we saw corpses in the streets of the village,” said farmer Mustapha Alibe.

Boko Haram’s six-year-old uprising has killed nearly 20,000 people.

Chadian and Nigerian troops have driven the extremists out of some 25 towns held for months in an area Boko Haram had declared an Islamic caliphate. Since then, the insurgents, who in March pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, have gone back to hit-and-run tactics and suicide bombings largely in the country’s north.

Separately, a government official said there has been a sudden influx of Boko Haram agents in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria outside the militants’ main area of activity in northeastern Nigeria.

Tony Opuiyo, spokesman of the Department of State Services— Nigeria’s intelligence agency — said in a statement Boko Haram is trying to extend their reach after being pushed out of the urban centers of northeastern Nigeria.

Security agencies had arrested 14 Boko Haram suspects in Lagos, the capital Abuja and other parts of the country outside the northeast in the past two months, said Opuiyo.

Those arrested include cell leaders, some of whom admitted to involvement in recent suicide attacks, he said. Authorities on Friday said they arrested a teenager who was spying on Abuja’s international airport for Boko Haram.

(With inputs from agencies)

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