Nearly 200 people were killed in 48 hours of violence by Boko Haram militants who carried out a fresh wave of massacres in northeastern Nigeria on Friday, locals said. President Muhammadu Buhari called the incident “inhuman and barbaric”.
The militants have staged multiple attacks across restive Borno state since Wednesday, gunning down worshippers at evening Ramadan prayers, shooting women in their homes, and dragging men from their beds in the dead of night.
A young female suicide bomber also killed 12 worshippers when she blew herself up in a mosque in Borno. While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, Boko Haram has used both men and young women and girls as human bombs in the past.
And as night fell, Nigerian troops battled “hordes of Boko Haram gunmen” who seemed set on attacking the state capital Maiduguri, the birthplace of the extremist Islamist movement.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the latest wave of killings… describing them as most inhuman and barbaric,” the presidency said in a statement.
The bloodshed is the worst since Buhari came to power in May, vowing to root out the insurgency that has claimed more than 15,000 lives.
Up to 50 armed men on motorbikes stormed the village of Mussa in the latest atrocity on Friday, shooting villagers and burning their homes, survivor Bitrus Dangana said.
“They killed six people in the village and they chased the inhabitants into the bush, firing at them… 25 people were killed in the bush,” he said.
Another survivor, Adamu Bulus, confirmed 31 people had been murdered.
It was the fourth time that Boko Haram had attacked the village in the past year, local youth worker Sunday Wabba said, describing how they “killed everyone on sight”.