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30 killed in Boko Haram attacks near town of schoolgirls abduction

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A grab made on May 5, 2014 from a video obtained by AFP shows the leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau (C) delivering a speech. Shekau vowed to sell hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped in northern Nigeria three weeks ago, in a new video obtained on May 5 by AFP. "I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah," he said, after reports that some of the 223 girls still missing may have been sold as brides across Nigeria's border with Chad and Cameroon for as little as $12. Shekau added that the abduction had caused outrage "because we are holding people (as) slaves".    AFP PHOTO / BOKO HARAM RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / BOKO HARAM" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Screengrab of a video showing Abubakar Sekau, leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, which killed 30 people near Chibok. AFP Photo

KANO, May 21, 2014 (AFP) – Two attacks by Boko Haram gunmen killed 30 people near Chibok, the northeast Nigerian town where the Islamists kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls last month, witnesses said on Wednesday.

The first attack on Monday afternoon killed 10 in the village of Shawa, some 7 kilometres from Chibok, a number of residents told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Gunmen then stormed the nearby village of Alagarno late Tuesday and stole food, razed homes and fired on fleeing civilians.

“It was a sudden attack,” said resident Haruna Bitrus, in an account supported by other locals. “They began shooting and set fire to our homes. We had to flee to the bush. They killed 20 of our people.”

Many of those who fled the Alagarno attack ran to Chibok, where Boko Haram seized 276 schoolgirls on 14 April.

The military said it had deployed heavily to the area to find the 223 girls who remain in captivity.

Major world powers including the United States are offering varying levels of assistance with the rescue mission.

Bitrus said that despite claims of a military build-up in the area, troops had not responded to the latest attack.

“While the gunmen were fleeing, three of their vehicles broke down and they have stayed behind to fix them. They were there up to this morning” with no response from the military, he said.

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