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By Ardo Hazzad and Lanre Ola

BAUCHI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram militants killed eight soldiers and one civilian in an attack in Nigeria's northeast, a police official said on Wednesday, the latest sign that the eight-year conflict is far from slowing.

The Islamist insurgency has left at least 20,000 dead and created one of the world's worst humanitarian crises in northeastern Nigeria, putting pressure on the country's government to bring the conflict to an end.

The attack on Tuesday evening, about 25 kilometres from the Yobe state capital of Damaturu, also left five civilians injured, Abdulmalik Sumonu, commissioner of police for Yobe, told Reuters by phone.

A witness said the attackers, likely members of Boko Haram, "took the soldiers by surprise."

"I saw soldiers carrying eight of their dead colleagues in their vehicle," Ali Khali, a member of a vigilante group known as the Civilian Joint Task Force who survived the attack, told Reuters by phone.

(Reporting by Ardo Hazzad in Bauchi and Lanre Ola in Maiduguri; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing by Larry King)

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