Extremists rampage in northeast Nigeria as elections near



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YOLA, Nigeria (AP) — Fleeing villagers say Islamic extremists are rampaging through northeastern Nigeria, killing, burning and looting with no troops protecting them.

More than 40 people have been killed in seven villages this week according to resident Emmanuel Kwache, who said many women and youths were abducted.

The Boko Haram militants, who have declared an Islamic caliphate, are increasing attacks as Nigeria prepares for Feb. 14 elections.

In Washington Tuesday, Nigerian-American attorney Emmanuel Ogebe (oh-GAY'-bay) told Congress that the upcoming election "will likely be a Valentine's Day massacre for the poor Christians of northern Nigeria."

At the House hearing, Director J. Peter Pham of the Atlantic Council's Africa Center said "an unholy tally" of more than 1,000 Christian churches have been destroyed by Boko Haram since the last Nigerian election.

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253-w-33-(Steve Coleman, AP religion editor, with Emmanuel Ogebe, attorney with the U.S. Nigeria Law Group)--Fleeing villagers say Islamic extremists are rampaging through northeastern Nigeria, killing, burning and looting with no troops protecting them. AP Religion Editor Steve Coleman reports. (28 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *253 (01/28/15)££ 00:33

254-a-10-(Emmanuel Ogebe (oh-GAY'-bay), attorney with the U.S. Nigeria Law Group, at House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing)-"of northern Nigeria"-Emmanuel Ogebe, an attorney with the U.S. Nigeria Law Group, says Boko Haram has been increasing attacks ahead of next month's elections. ((cut used in wrap)) (28 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *254 (01/28/15)££ 00:10 "of northern Nigeria"

255-a-09-(J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council's Africa Center, at House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing)-"to the polls"-J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council's Africa Center, says Boko Haram has been attacking Christians and destroying their churches. (28 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *255 (01/28/15)££ 00:09 "to the polls"

256-a-08-(J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council's Africa Center, at House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing)-"disproportionately high toll"-J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council's Africa Center, says Boko Haram militants are rampaging through northeastern Nigeria. (28 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *256 (01/28/15)££ 00:08 "disproportionately high toll"

257-a-06-(Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., at House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing)-"me the difference"-California Congressman Ed Royce says Boko Haram is like the Islamic State group. (28 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *257 (01/28/15)££ 00:06 "me the difference"

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The Associated Press

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