17 February 2014, The Tablet

Boko Haram suspected in massacre of 106 Christians and Muslims

Islamic militants have killed more than 100 people in an area of northern Nigeria dotted with majority-Christian villages, gunning down some and slitting the throats of others before setting fire to homes and looting food shops.

The attack, which officials believe to have been carried out by Boko Haram jihadists, was believed to be in response to recent aerial bombardments by the military of extremist hideouts in Borno state on the border with Cameroon.

Gunmen reportedly rounded up and shot men in Izghe village before going door-to-door and killing anyone they found. The attack lasted for five hours on Saturday evening.

Ali Ndume, a senator for Borno state, told the BBC that 106 people were killed, including an elderly woman.

Survivors fled the village throughout the night into the neighbouring state of Adamawa. They described the attack as indiscriminate and said that it targeted both Christian and Muslim villagers. Funerals for 52 of the Muslim victims were held at a mosque in the nearby town of Madagali on Sunday.

The bodies of many victims were left lying in the village streets, one resident, Abubakar Usman, said.

"We fled without burying them, fearing the terrorists were still lurking in the bushes," he told Reuters news agency.

Thousands have been killed and more made homeless amid escalating violence in the region, which Boko Haram wants to turn into an Islamic state.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan last month replaced senior military figures amid frustration at the army's efforts to combat the violence.

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