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Gunmen from Islamist sect Boko Haram shot dead at least 12 people during a four-hour siege on villages in northeast Nigeria overnight, two days after a deadly attack on a school, witnesses said on Thursday. Boko Haram, whose fight for an Islamic state in northern Nigeria has killed thousands and made them the biggest threat to security in Africa’s top oil producer, is increasingly preying on the civilian population. Gunmen riding in 13 pick-up trucks sped into Kirchinga village in Adamawa state in the evening, burning churches and houses and shooting sporadically at fleeing villagers.

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