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Boko Haram video shows beheaded men

A video from Nigeria's Boko Haram extremist group has shown the bodies of two beheaded men accused of spying, and copies some of the hallmarks of propaganda from Islamic State.

The SITE intelligence group said the video, called "Harvest of Spies", was posted on Twitter by Boko Haram's new media arm.

The video is much slicker than previous ones and SITE said it borrows certain elements from IS productions, such as the sound of a beating heart and heavy breathing immediately before the execution.

Boko Haram said in social media messages last month that it was considering swearing allegiance to IS.

The video shows a man identified as Dawoud Muhammad of Baga city on his knees in the bush before several armed and masked fighters. In response to questions, Mr Muhammad says a police officer paid him 5,000 naira (£16) to spy and promised to make him so rich he would never have to farm again. The other man is identified as Muhammad Awlu.

The video does not show the beheadings but the two bodies are shown after the killings with the heads on the chests.

Boko Haram previously published only one beheading, of a Nigerian fighter pilot whose plane went missing in September.

The Islamic group's violent campaign in Nigeria killed at least 10,000 people last year, according to the Council on Foreign Affairs.

At least 1.6 million people have been driven from their homes in the group's brutal six-year uprising to create an Islamic state in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation of 160 million people divided between mainly Muslims in the north and Christians in the south.

Boko Haram began emulating IS in August, declaring it had established an Islamic caliphate in territory it controls in north-eastern Nigeria.

In a major turnabout, Nigeria's military in recent weeks has wrested back a score of towns and villages that had been under the control of the insurgents for months.

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