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Militants attack Nigeria wedding convoy, kill 30: government

ABUJA (Reuters) - Suspected Islamist militants fired on a convoy of people returning from a wedding party in northeastern Nigeria, killing 30 of them, including the groom, local government authorities said on Monday.

But the military in charge of the area denied the report, saying only five people had been killed in the attack late on Saturday.

Adamawa state spokesman Ahmad Sajo said the attack happened along the Bama-Gwoza road just in neighbouring Borno state, as some of the wedding party were leaving.

The forested area has become a favoured hideout for fighters of Islamist sect Boko Haram, which wants to carve an Islamic state out of religiously-mixed Nigeria, since a military offensive in May scattered their insurgency.

Sajo said he had received a report of the 30 deaths from the military in Adamawa division, who had in turn received it from the Borno state military.

"They said that 30 people were killed by the suspected BH (Boko Haram)," he said.

But in a statement, the military division for Borno state denied that as many as 30 had been killed, putting the number at five. It said it recovered the bodies and brought them to Bama.

"This is one of the isolated attacks by frustrated elements, as most of their camps and hideouts are being destroyed," it said.

Thousands have been killed since Boko Haram launched an uprising against the state in 2009, turning itself from a clerical movement opposed to Western culture into an armed militia with links to al Qaeda's West African wing.

The group is seen as the biggest security threat to Africa's top oil producer.

(Reporting by Isaac Abrak; Writing by Tim Cocks, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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