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The attack happened in Lingyado village in Zamfara state, a rural region of pasture lands approaching Nigeria’s border with Niger.

About 150 attackers surrounded the village and roamed between its compounds, shooting residents who came out to greet them, elder Husaini Dansadau told the Associated Press.

Those who could fled into nearby cornfields when the shooting began.

Some of the gunmen shouted that they would rape the women they found, said witness Ahmad Tsauri Lingyado, who uses the village’s name as his last name as is custom in Nigeria’s north.

The attackers used Kalashnikov rifles and machetes in the attack, witnesses said. They stole money and valuables from the simple homes before fleeing into the darkness.

At least 19 people died in the assault, Zamfara state police spokesman Sunusi Amiru said. Seven others were wounded, including women and children.

MOROCCO

Authorities dismantle new militant cell

RABAT — The Moroccan state news agency has announced the dismantling of a new militant cell planning attacks against foreign interests in the country.

The late Saturday report said the five-man group was operating in Casablanca and Sale, and had online links to al Qaeda operatives abroad. It quoted a statement from the national intelligence agency.

The statement said the group planned to attack Western interests and foreign companies in Morocco, as well as prison facilities.

The group also is said to have been in touch with the main defendant in the bombing attack against a Marrakech cafe to learn about making explosives.

Eight people are on trial for that April 28 attack, which killed 17 people, mostly tourists.

NORTH KOREA

Group: China arrests 35 N. Korea refugees

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