Nigeria's Boko Haram kill 51 in northeast attack - witnesses

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:22am EST

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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria Feb 12 (Reuters) - Gunmen from Islamist sect Boko Haram killed 51 people in an attack on a town in northeast Nigeria, witnesses said on Wednesday, in a region where President Goodluck Jonathan's troops are struggling to contain its insurgency.

Dozens of Boko Haram fighters speeding along in trucks painted in military colours and armed with automatic weapons and explosives stormed Konduga local government area in Borno state at around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, burning houses and shooting fleeing villagers, two witnesses said.

The insurgents also took 20 young girls from a local college hostage, a teacher said. The military confirmed the attack took place but said it was still assessing the number of casualties. (Reporting by Ibrahim Mshelizza; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Jon Boyle)