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Nigeria: Islamic Extremists Kill 37 Villagers In Two Attacks

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Residents in northeastern Nigeria said that extremists had killed at least 37 villagers in two separate attacks, underscoring once again the lethality of Islamic extremist rebels in their 14-year struggle in the severely affected area.

In the first attack in the state in almost a year, the extremists targeted villagers in Yobe state’s Geidam district on Monday and Tuesday. Witnesses reported that they first shot and killed 17 people, then used a land mine to kill 20 others who had gone to attend their funeral.

In 2009, the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram began an insurgency in northeastern Nigeria with the goal of imposing their strict version of Sharia, or Islamic law, on the area. The extreme violence concentrated in Borno state, which borders Yobe, has resulted in at least 35,000 deaths and almost 2 million displacements.

Since taking office in May, Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu has failed to put a stop to the security crisis that the country is experiencing in the northeast, northwest, and central areas, where dozens of armed groups have been murdering villages and kidnapping tourists for ransom.

According to Shaibu Babagana, a local, the first incident happened late on Monday in the isolated Gurokayeya village in Geidam. Gunmen opened fire on a few residents, killing seventeen of them. According to Babagana, at least 20 people who had gone to the funeral were subsequently slain on Tuesday when their vehicle collided with an exploding land mine.

According to Idris Geidam, a fellow resident, the death toll exceeded forty. The official death toll could not be provided by authorities, as is occasionally the case.

“This is one of the most horrific attacks by Boko Haram in recent times. For a burial group to be attacked shortly after the loss of their loved ones is beyond horrific,” Geidam said.

The attacks, which the Yobe state government attributed to Islamists who crossed into the state from neighbouring Borno, prompted the call for an emergency security meeting on Wednesday.

Abdulsalam Dahiru, a security adviser for the Yobe administration, told reporters, “The security agencies have deployed security men to the area and we are studying a report on the infiltration in an effort to stave off future occurrences.”

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