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Many fear dead as Boko Haram strikes in Christian area in Maiduguri

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Suspected Boko Haram militants, who arrived on motorcycles throwing bombs, raided a mostly Christian town in Nigeria’s northeast after nightfall on Saturday, residents and a military source said.

Residents said scores of people had been killed in the town of Shani, but a police source said they had been unable to verify the death toll as communications to the town had been largely cut off.

“They rode on motorcycles and were more than 30 men. They started throwing bombs into houses…then the Boko Haram fired shots at people fleeing,” resident Ishaya Brimah told Reuters by phone from a nearby village on Sunday.

“They set ablaze the police station, houses and a telecom mast. … I saw people fleeing, some bodies on the ground,” Brimah said.

Shani is located in Nigeria’s Borno state, the heartland of Islamist group Boko Haram’s five-year insurgency, which has displaced more than 1 million people.

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