Death Toll in Northeast Nigeria Insurgent Attacks Rises to 42

Two attacks by insurgents on villages in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno left at least 42 people dead, witnesses said.

On Tuesday, 20 people were murdered in an assault on Debiro Biu, Musa Shehu, a resident said by phone. Suspected Boko Haram gunmen on Monday riding motorcycles and cars killed 22 people in Debiro Hawul, Eziekiel Mamza, who escaped the attack, said by phone.

“The attack was in the early morning while we are asleep so every body was in disarray trying to escape,” Shehu said. The militants also torched some homes and took away food and medicine, he said.

Boko Haram has stepped up attacks in the northeast in the face of a regional military offensive this year backed by forces from Cameroon, Niger and Chad, which has seized territory from the insurgents. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari came to office last month vowing to crush the six-year Islamist rebellion.

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