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Boko Haram Kills 68 in Nigerian Town

Borno state, Nigeria

Borno state, Nigeria

Suspected Boko Haram militants have attacked a village in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 68 people.

Witnesses tell a VOA reporter that the militants attacked the community of Njaba in Borno state before dawn Tuesday.

Aminatur Mommodu, a Njaba resident in her early 40s, says women were spared but "every male, including children of 12, 13 and 14 years old were killed." She says women who ran into the bush when the gunmen attacked later returned and counted 68 corpses, all of them with gunshot wounds or their throats slit open.

Because of the remoteness of the area, word of the attack took two days to reach the state capital, Maiduguri, about 100 kilometers away.

The attack is similar to raids conducted by Boko Haram in other northeastern Nigerian towns and villages.

Violence in the region has intensified in the wake of an offensive by Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon to retake areas seized by the insurgents over the past two years.

The Nigerian army said Thursday that its troops are now in full control of Mafa in Borno state.

On Tuesday, Chad said its forces had liberated the Borno state town of Dikwa. Chad's President Idriss Deby called on Boko Haram's chief Abubakar Shekau to surrender or be killed, saying his forces know Shekau's location.

He says Shekau barely escaped when Chadian troops drove Boko Haram fighters out of Dikwa. Shekau has been publicly seen only in the group's videos.

Nigeria's neighbors entered the war against Boko Haram after the militants, who are purportedly fighting to impose Islamic law, seized a multinational base on the shores of Lake Chad in January.

The insurgents are blamed for thousands of deaths in Nigeria since launching their insurgency in 2009.