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Originally published Monday, April 29, 2013 at 9:48 AM

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Official: 17 killed in northern Nigeria violence

A military official says at least 17 people have been killed in fighting between Islamic extremists and security forces in northeastern Nigeria.

The Associated Press

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BAMA, Nigeria —

A military official says at least 17 people have been killed in fighting between Islamic extremists and security forces in northeastern Nigeria.

The fighting happened in Bama, a town in northeastern Borno state where insurgents have been fighting the government since 2010.

Lt. Col A.G Laka said Monday that the fighting killed at least seven police officers and 10 insurgents. Journalists accompanying a government convoy to the area Monday did not see any of the corpses and the military routinely downplays casualty figures from fighting.

An Associated Press journalist saw burned homes and businesses burned down, something Laka blamed on insurgents using civilians as cover. The military made a similar claim about violence in Baga, a city where local officials say at least 185 were recently killed.

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