Dozens of mourners ‘killed by Boko Haram’ at a funeral in north Nigeria

An attack this weekend by suspected Boko Haram fighters on a funeral in the northeastern state of Borno, Nigeria, has left at least 65 people dead, almost three times the initial toll, a local official said.

Gunmen arrived on motorcycles and in vans at the village near the state capital, Maiduguri, on Saturday, eyewitnesses say.

A number of mourners were reportedly killed straight away, while others died trying to chase off the attackers.

There has been an increase in Islamist attacks across the region.

Local government official Muhammed Bulama said he thought the latest attack was in revenge for the killing of 11 Boko Haram fighters by the villagers two weeks ago.

Agence France Presse journalists at the scene said they saw burnt-out homes, and relatives collecting the bodies of those who were killed.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack, and ordered the air force and army to hunt down those who carried it out, Reuters reports.

Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and more than two million displaced over the past decade of conflict.

Boko Haram, loosely translated, means “Western education is banned” and promotes a version of Islam that forbids Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with the West. The group is fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state.

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