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Boko Haram attacks NE Nigeria, military jets pound rebel positions


Abuja: Boko Haram fighters hacked to death 10 people in remote northeast Nigeria, a local government official saidon Monday, as the military claimed to have thwarted a fresh attack.

The attack happened early on Friday in the village of Pambula-Kwamda, the local government chairman of Madagali in the north of Adamawa state told AFP.

"The attackers went into the village around 4:00 am (0300 GMT) while residents were still asleep and used machetes to attack their victims," Maina Ularamu added.

News of the killings only emerged on Monday because of the remote location and communications difficulties caused by the insurgency.

It followed Boko Haram assaults on nearby Sabon Gari Hyembula village last weekend, in which three people were killed and seven women were kidnapped, Ularamu said.

"We believe they were the same people," he added.

Northern Adamawa state, which the military declared "clear" of insurgents in March, has been hit several times as troops target rebels in their Sambisa Forest stronghold, just across the border in Borno state.Soldiers have rescued hundreds of kidnapped women and children from the forest.

On Sunday, 31 people who were freed last week -- most of them children under 12 -- were brought to the Malkohi camp outside the Adamawa state capital, Yola, relief officials said.

A camp worker, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said: "About four (of the women) gave birth in the forest. The children are looking really malnourished."

Some 275 women and children freed earlier this month were last week transferred to an undisclosed location to receive medical attention and counselling to help them come to terms with their ordeal.

Several women recounted seeing their husbands killed in front of them as they were abducted and then forced to marry their captors.

Some 10 women were visibly pregnant when AFP visited the camp earlier this month.

On Monday, defence spokesman Chris Olukolade said troops had thwarted an attack on Mafa, 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.

About 30 Boko Haram fighters were killed and "many others" wounded, he added.

Boko Haram on Saturday attacked the town of Gubio, 95 kilometres north of Maiduguri, with many feared killed, locals and vigilantes said.

Fleeing residents meanwhile said Nigerian fighter jets razed four villages occupied by Boko Haram near the border with Cameroon.

At least three jets bombed Duwu, Jarawa, Mallum Maja and Mudu in the Kalabalge area of Borno state over six hourson Sunday.

"It is very unlikely if anyone in the villages survived, going by the scale of the bombardment," said Idris Hassan, from the nearby Malawaji village.Hassan was one of many locals who fled to Fotokol, across the border in northern Cameroon, to escape the aerial assault.

Residents there reported hearing huge explosions from the direction of Kalabalge from morning until afternoon on Sunday.

"Refugees from the affected villages living here have been crying for their relations trapped in the villages who were held hostage by Boko Haram," Umar Babakalli said.

Boko Haram fighters have flooded the Kalabalge district for the last two months as a result of a sweeping military offensive that drove them out of their Gwoza and Bama strongholds in Borno.

Thousands fled across the border into Chad and Cameroon as a result.

But the insurgents prevented residents from leaving the Kalabalge area in the past two weeks, said Yamani Bukar, who managed to escape from Jarawa on Saturday.

"Boko Haram gunmen would not allow people in the villages to leave and would return anyone they saw trying to leave, saying we must stay and die with them," he added.

He said the militants were short of weapons and had resorted to using crude weapons including bows and arrows, machetes and swords.