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Official: 143 killed by extremists in Nigeria

Friday - 9/20/2013, 7:30am  ET

BENISHEIK, Nigeria (AP) -- An environmental department official says workers combing bushes have recovered the bodies of at least 143 civilians killed by suspected Islamic militants in northeast Nigeria.

Abdulazeez Kolomi told The Associated Press that environmental workers also found some beheaded corpses among victims of a Tuesday night attack on a major highway and Benisheik village some 45 miles (70 kilometers) northeast of the Borno state capital of Maiduguri.

A soldier speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to reporters said Thursday that extremists disguised in military fatigues attacked in 20 pickup trucks firing anti-aircraft guns that overwhelmed soldiers using automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

The attack challenges Nigerian military statements that they are putting down an Islamic uprising that has killed hundreds since 2009.

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