Police say suspected Islamic militants armed with automatic rifles and explosives killed a pastor and his son and torched a church in northeast Nigeria before dawn on Thursday.

Corporal Musa Ibrahim said the attackers also killed the village head at Dorawa, about 100 km from the Yobe State school where extremists in July 2013 killed 29 students, some burned alive.

Corporal Ibrahim said gunmen used explosives to set ablaze the church and five homes.

Yobe is one of three northeastern States under a military emergency to try to halt an Islamic uprising by militants who have killed more than 1,700 people since 2010 in their quest to turn Nigeria into an Islamic State and ban Western education though the country of 160 million people has as many Christians as Muslims.

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