MAIDUGURI (Reuters) - The death toll from an Islamist militant assault on travellers along a road in northeast Nigeria has risen to 143, an official from the local branch of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday.

In the attack on Tuesday, Boko Haram militants wearing military uniforms stopped traffic on a highway between the cities of Maiduguri and Damaturu, dragging people out of their vehicles and killing them, witnesses and security sources said. The initial toll was given as more than 20.

"We have been picking corpses off the roadsides all day, there are more in the bush, they are all travellers shot at or slaughtered by Boko Haram gunmen who attacked on Tuesday night. We have so far picked up 143 corpses," the official, Abdulazeez Kolomi, said.

(Reporting by Lanre Ola; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

 

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