Suspected Boko Haram attack on a funeral leaves 65 dead in Nigeria, official says

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Men carry a victim to the funeral in Budu near Maiduguri on July 28, 2019, after the latest attack by Boko Haram fighters on a funeral in northeast Nigeria has left 65 people dead. - Dozens more bodies were discovered following the assault on July 27 by gunmen on a village close to the regional capital Maiduguri. AFP journalists at the scene saw houses burnt in the attack, as relatives collected the bodies of those slain for burial. Credit: AUDU MARTE/AFP/Getty Images

At least 65 people are dead following a suspected attack by Boko Haram on a funeral gathering in northeastern Nigeria, according to local officials.

The attack occurred Saturday during a burial in the Nganzai district, near the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, local government chairman Muhammed Bulama said.

Twenty-one people were killed in the initial attack on the funeral, and another 44 people were killed while trying to escape the attack, Bulama said.

At least ten people were injured in the attack. Eight of them were critically wounded and were being treated at an area hospital, he said.

Boko Haram militants have inhabited the northern states of Nigeria for the past decade. The terror group says its aim is to impose a stricter enforcement of Sharia law across Africa’s most populous nation, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.

The group has bombed churches and mosques; kidnapped women and children; and assassinated politicians and religious leaders.

In January, the escalating violence forced 30,000 Nigerians to flee the country over a two day period, the UN refugee agency said.

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