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Earlier this week, Boko Haram opened fire on three villages – killing hundreds – all while disguised as military soldiers.

“We all thought they were the soldiers whom we earlier reported to that the insurgents might attack us,” says one community leader.

The residents of Danjara, Agapalwa, and Antagara villages in Borno state had indeed pleaded for help when they heard Boko Haram was coming. So when men showed up in military fatigues driving military style pickup trucks, they had no reason to believe it was a trick. The men even announced they were soldiers who had come “to protect you all.”

But once the men rounded up the villagers, “they began to shout ‘Allahu akbar, [God is great],’ then they started to fire at the people continuously for a very long time until all who had gathered were dead,” the community leader says.

The community leader managed to survive because he was spreading the word that the soldiers had come.

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