At least 44 people were killed by Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram in North-eastern Nigeria, local security officials said late on Saturday.

The insurgents ambushed and killed 24 members of the civilian Joint Task Force in Monguno, a town in Borno State, on Friday.

The JTF has been set up to assist Nigeria’s military in the fight against the terrorist group.

An additional 36 JTF members were missing after the attack, according to local residents.

The insurgents then moved to the nearby towns of Damboa and Nganza, where they reportedly killed another 20 civilians.

Borno is one of three northern states that the government placed under emergency regulations in May to curb attacks by Boko Haram.

Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sinful”, has been active in the Muslim North of the West African country, regularly carrying out attacks aimed primarily at Christians.

Since 2009, about 1,500 people have been killed in the violence.

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