At least 81 people were killed in an attack on a village by suspected Boko Haram militants in northeast Nigeria, the Borno state government said Wednesday. Residents reported that the men gathered the villagers on Tuesday morning and started shooting in the incident which lasted several hours.
In addition, seven people, including the village head, children and women, were abducted from the Faduma Kolomdi community, described as a nomadic town in northern Borno.
One of the villagers who survived the onslaught told the authorities that the attackers came under the cover of being Islamic teachers. “They gathered us and said they wanted to deliver religious sermon to us. They asked us to submit whatever arm we had. Some villagers gave up their … guns, bow, and arrows.
“Suddenly, they started shooting at will. Even children and women were not spared, Many were shot at close range,” the man, who was not named, said in the statement. “The insurgents abducted seven persons, including our village head. They went away with 400 cattle,” the man added.
“We have buried 49 corpses here while another 32 corpses were taken away by families from the villages around us.
Tuesday’s attack involving women and children was carried out by Boko Haram and ISWAP, or Islamic State West Africa Province, members operating terrorist sleeper cells in communities in the area, Nigeria military spokesman Sagir Musa said in a statement.
A large number of troops have also been sent to the area to bolster the military’s response to the attack, the army said. “The Nigerian Army is committed to investigating the circumstances of these callous attacks by desperate Boko Haram criminals and the bandits on innocent civilians,” Musa said.