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37 dead after militia launch three separate attacks

The attack came the day after students were killed at a boardingg school in Yobe state.

File: A burned out building is seen after an attack by Boko Haram in Bama, Nigeria.
File: A burned out building is seen after an attack by Boko Haram in Bama, Nigeria.

SUSPECTED BOKO HARAM gunmen are said to have killed at least 37 people in three separate attacks in northeast Nigeria, including at a theological college.

The coordinated attacks in Adamawa state late yesterday came just a day after Islamist militant fighters were blamed for killing 43 people, most of them students, as they slept at a boarding school in Yobe state.

Militants

The chairman of the Madagali local government area in Adamawa, Maina Ularamu, said:

a large number of militants carried out three separate attacks on Shuwa and Kirchinga in my local government area and on Michika in neighbouring Michika (district).

“The gunmen divided themselves into three groups and separately attacked the three locations,” he told AFP.

He had earlier put the death toll in Shuwa, part of Madagali local government area, at 17.

But he later told AFP that eight more bodies were recovered in the village, including three from a Christian college, confirming the account of a resident about the three burnt corpse found in the seminary.

The death toll in the Shuwa attack now stands at 25 after eight more bodies were recovered, including three discovered under the burnt debris of the theological school.

In Shuwa, several buildings were burnt, including a Christian theological college and a section of a secondary school.

Gunmen

In Kirchinga, Samuel Garba said the gunmen were all dressed in military uniform – a tactic frequently employed by the militant fighters in previous, similar attacks.

The gunmen… killed eight people in our village and burnt many houses.

“Four people have so far been confirmed dead in Michika,” said Abdul Kassim, who lives in the village.

The dead were a young boy who was trying to run away and three security guards, he added.

Military response

In a statement, the military confirmed the attacks on multiple communities in Adamawa but said that only one soldier and three civilians were killed. Troops repelling the raids also killed six suspected Islamists, according to the statement.

The military further claimed that the militants, “in desperation for money and food…looted and burnt banks (and) shops”, and were trying to escape across the Cameroon border.

The top military commander in Adamawa last week ordered that the state’s border with Cameroon be sealed to block Boko Haram’s purported escape routes.

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Attack

Michika resident Abdul Kassim said militants arrived at about 9.30 pm (8.30 GMT) on Wednesday, “armed with RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) and explosives which they hurled indiscriminately at homes and public buildings”.

The attack reportedly lasted for more than four hours. Various residents said four banks were razed, as well as hundreds of shops, a police station, government buildings and dozens of homes.

One witness, who requested anonymity, said the village looked like a “war zone” and that some 90 percent of all businesses had been destroyed.

Adamawa is one of three northeastern states placed under emergency rule in May last year following waves of Boko Haram attacks.

The top military commander in the state last week ordered the complete closure of the border with Cameroon in hope of blocking the movements of insurgents and weapons.

Read: Students hacked to death and burned alive at their secondary school>

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