Islamist sect group Boko Haram, on Tuesday sacked about five villages in Borno State, killing at least 40 people, residents have said.
Militants numbering dozens stormed Matangale, Buraltima and Dirmanti on motorcycles, opening fire on villagers before looting and burning homes.
News of the assault was slow to emerge due to poor telecommunications infrastructure in the area.
“They came around 4pm on 20 motorcycles, three gunmen on each, and attacked Matangale before proceeding to Buraltima and Dirmanti,” PSN quoted a resident Dala Tungushe to have said.
“They killed about 40 people and burnt all the houses in the three villages after looting food supplies,” Tungushe, who fled Matangale to Biu, some 90km away, added.
Another resident, Bulama Karuye said Matangale was the worst hit as the insurgents opened fire on people crowded at a well.
“The Boko Haram gunmen opened fire on the crowd at the well where they killed around 16 people,” he said.
“In all, we lost 43 people in the attacks. All the three villages were completely burnt.”