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Islamists Kill 24 Nigerian Vigilantes in Ambush

Member of vigilante groups popularly called "civilian JTF" monitors traffic on used tire, Mafoni village, Borno state, Aug. 6, 2013.
Suspected Islamist militants have killed at least 24 members of a civilian vigilante group in Nigeria.

The attack occurred Friday when the Civilian Joint Task Force vigilantes were ambushed in a village in the northeastern state of Borno. Thirty-four people are still missing after the attack.

Survivors of the ambush told officials their group of about 100 was attacked by members of the Boko Haram militia wearing Nigerian military uniforms.

The Nigerian military has encouraged the formation of vigilante groups to help it track down members of the Boko Haram militia, aiming to end the Islamist extremists' four-year insurgency.

The Islamist group has carried out dozens of deadly attacks since launching an uprising in 2009, and is blamed for thousands of deaths. Rights groups say the military has killed hundreds more through indiscriminate and heavy-handed counter-attacks.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.