MAIDUGURI - Attackers slit the throats of at least nine construction workers on Monday in Maiduguri, the northeast Nigerian birthplace of an Islamist insurgency, the army said.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack and the army did not say who was to blame.

Soldiers found the nine bodies in a construction workers' compound in the city's Bolori area at around 7 a.m. (0600 GMT), military spokesman Sagir Musa said.

A nurse at a local hospital told Reuters ten bodies were brought in on Monday morning.

Militant sect Boko Haram launched its revolt in Maiduguri in 2009 and has killed hundreds of people in bombing raids and other attacks in the surrounding region and across the country.

The movement says it is fighting to carve out an Islamic state in parts of Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims.

There has also been an increase in killings by armed criminal gangs, taking advantage of the unrest to settle scores.

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