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45 killed in Nigeria market attack; police blame Boko Haram

By Aminu Abubakar, CNN
updated 6:08 AM EST, Tue January 28, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police: Gunmen shot at people as traders were closing market in Kawuri village Sunday
  • Witness: Attackers first posed as traders
  • Police say Islamist militant group Boko Haram believed to have launched the attack

Kano, Nigeria (CNN) -- Suspected Boko Haram militants opened fire on a village market and burned homes in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno late Sunday, killing at least 45 people and injuring 26 others, the state's police commissioner said.

The gunmen arrived in the village of Kawuri in all-terrain vehicles, shot people at the market while traders were closing shop for the day, and burned a number of thatched homes, Borno state police commissioner Lawan Tanko said.

A witness, merchant Isa Ibrahim, said the attackers initially pretended to be traders at the market. He said it appeared bombs were used in the attacks, possibly planted ahead of time.

Tanko, the police commissioner, said it was not yet clear if explosives were used, adding a police bomb squad was searching for any unexploded ordnance.

Boko Haram is an Islamist militant group that has waged a campaign of violence in northeastern Nigeria, trying to impose a strict version of Sharia, or Islamic law.

Borno is one of three states in northeastern Nigeria that have been under a state of emergency since May because of the violence.

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