Militant attack in Nigerian town kills 20 soldiers, displaces 1,000 residents

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MAIDUGURI, Jan 8 (Reuters) – About 20 soldiers were killed and nearly 1,000 people made homeless in a militant attack on a town in northeastern Nigeria, two residents and a military source said on Wednesday.

The militants entered Monguno in Borno state posing as a convoy of soldiers on the evening of Jan. 7, the sources said. They then attacked troops already inside the town, destroying at least 750 homes in the process.

Resident Gumati Sadu said people fled into the bush for safety during the fighting and that three civilians were killed by stray bullets.

A military spokesman declined comment.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

A decade-long insurgency campaign by Boko Haram has killed thousands and displaced millions in northeastern Nigeria. Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), which split from Boko Haram in 2016, has since staged its own frequent attacks in the region.

Thousands in Monguno had already been displaced from their homes elsewhere in Borno state by militants. Aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres warned last year that many thousands in Monguno lacked proper shelter, water, sanitation and food. (Reporting By Maiduguri newsroom, writing by Libby George; editing by Grant McCool)

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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