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Boko Haram kills nine in Nigeria attacks

Fighters packed in trucks with gunmen on motorbikes stormed into the village of Molai just before sunset on Tuesday, when villagers were preparing to pray and break their fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

FILE: A Boko Haram flag. Picture: AFP

KANO - Boko Haram fighters have killed nine people in two separate attacks in northeastern Nigeria, looting and torching a village and ambushing three farmers, officials and local militia forces said Wednesday.

Fighters packed in trucks with gunmen on motorbikes stormed into the village of Molai just before sunset on Tuesday, when villagers were preparing to pray and break their fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The jihadist gunmen, loyal to Boko Haram chief Abubakar Shekau, killed six people and burned dozens of homes.

Usman Kyari, who heads the state Emergency Management Agency, said six bodies were collected after the attack. All had been shot dead.

"The insurgents burnt around 40 homes and looted goods," Kyari said.

Molai, which is five kilometres from Borno state capital Maiduguri, has been repeatedly attacked by the jihadists.

Tahiru Jimai, a villager, said he and his family had been fasting all day, and were resting while waiting for prayers to start at dusk.

"Our home was destroyed," he said.

A member of a militia force, which fights alongside regular government soldiers, said the Boko Haram fighters were too many and they were overpowered.

"We all withdrew from the village," the militia soldier said.

Later, Nigerian aircraft bombed the area, and the jihadists retreated, he added.

In a separate attack, also on Tuesday, Boko Haram fighters killed three farmers near the town of Konduga, 38 kilometres (24 miles) outside Maiduguri, militia leader Ibrahim Liman said.

"The gunmen slit the throats of the farmers and dumped their bodies," Liman told AFP.

The militants often kill farmers, loggers and herders, accusing them of passing information to the army.

Boko Haram's decade-long uprising to establish a hardline Islamic state in Nigeria's northeast has spilled into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

A regional military coalition is battling the Islamist group.

At least 27,000 people have been in killed in Nigeria alone, and some two million others from their homes.

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