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Boko Haram 'kill 27, torch 300 homes' in northeast Nigeria

Screengrab taken on September 25, 2013 from a video distributed to local reporters and seen by AFP shows a man claiming to be the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau
A screengrab taken on September 25, 2013 from a video distributed through an intermediary to local reporters and seen by AFP, shows a man claiming to be the leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau.

Dozens of Boko Haram gunmen riding on motorcycles and in pickup trucks stormed a town in Nigeria's restive northeast, killing 27 people and razing some 300 homes, a local official said Monday.

"Gunmen numbering about 70 riding on about 15 motorcycles and hilux (trucks) attacked the village late Thursday," said Baba Shehu, an official with the local government in Bama, an area repeatedly attacked by the insurgents.

"They shot down 27 persons and injured 12... About 300 houses were burnt," he added.

Details of the attack in Borno state, Boko Haram's historic stronghold, were slow to emerge.

The mobile phone network in the area has been switched off since May, when President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency across the northeast and launched an offensive aimed at crushing at the Islamist group's four-year uprising.

Shehu, who briefed journalists in Borno's capital Maiduguri, added that the gunmen destroyed 40 shops, killed livestock and stole roughly four million naira ($25,000, 19,000 euros) from Bama residents.

Boko Haram gunmen were blamed for a weekend attack, also in Borno, on a wedding party in which more than 30 people, including the groom, were gunned down in an ambush on the key Bama-Banki road.

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