Islamic extremists blamed for kidnapping of 185 villagers, 35 deaths in northeastern Nigeria

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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Fleeing villagers say Islamic extremists killed 35 people and kidnapped at least 185 in an attack near the town where nearly 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped earlier this year.

Teenager Aji Ibrahim says he was lucky to escape into the bushes.

"No doubt they were Boko Haram members because they were chanting Allahu akbar (God is great) while shooting at people and torching houses," he said.

A security official and local government officer confirmed the attack on Gumburi on Sunday night. The news took days to emerge because the militants have destroyed communications towers in the area.

Gumburi is 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Chibok, the northeastern town from which extremists kidnapped 276 schoolgirls in April. Dozens escaped but 219 remain missing.

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