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Thursday, 2 July 2015

Boko Haram attacks kill 145 in northeastern Nigeria

(CNN)At least 145 people were killed after Boko Haram militants raided three villages in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno, witnesses said Thursday.

The Islamist militant group's attack late Wednesday in the Kukawa fishing village killed 97 people, resident Kawu Aisaye told CNN.

A senior Nigerian military official confirmed the attack, adding the military conducted airstrikes following the raid and is sending troops to assess the damage.

The official was unable to provide details about casualties.

A lawmaker in the region, Mohammed Tahir, told CNN that Boko Haram killed 48 people and injured 11 others Wednesday when the militants stormed two other villages near the town of Monguno.

Boko Haram, which loosely translates to "Western education is sin" in the Hausa language, is classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. It has been brutal against civilians and authorities alike as it tries to impose its extreme version of Sharia law over an expansive territory.

Residents of Borno state, which borders Chad, and other parts of northeastern Nigeria know this all too well. For years they have dealt with Boko Haram assaults, bombings, abductions and mass kidnappings -- the most infamous being the taking of more than 200 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok in 2014.

Earlier this year, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Journalist Aminu Abubakar in Kano, Nigeria, contributed to this report.

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