Nigeria Boko Haram: 'Militants' kill villagers in raid

The remains of the burned out Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, Nigeria (25 February 2014) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Boko Haram has been blamed for a spate of attacks in recent weeks

Suspected Islamist militants have torched a village in north-eastern Nigeria's Borno state, killing at least 11 people, a lawmaker told the BBC.

They raided Jakana overnight, destroying about a third of homes, Senator Khalifa Zannah said.

A local person told the BBC that as many as 40 people had been killed but this could not be confirmed.

The Islamist group Boko Haram intensified its insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria in recent weeks.

It has been blamed for about 130 killings in Borno alone since Friday.

The group has not commented on the attacks.

'Disabled left behind'

It launched its insurgency to create an Islamic state in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria about six years ago.

Thousands of people have been killed in the conflict.

Mr Zannah told BBC Hausa the suspected militants had withdrawn from Jakana, 33km (20 miles) from the state capital, Maiduguri, after government forces arrived.

Most people had fled after rumours spread that Boko Haram was planning an attack but some elderly and disabled people were unable to get away, Mr Zannah added.

It was the third consecutive night that Boko Haram had been blamed for attacks in areas around Maiduguri:

  • On Sunday night, militants reportedly killed 11 people in a raid on Mfaka town, about 45km from Maiduguri
  • On Saturday night, Boko Haram fighters reportedly destroyed the entire village of Mainok, about 50km from Maiduguri, leaving 47 people dead.

The militants travel in a convoy of pick-up trucks, and are armed with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and explosives.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram, has been badly hit by the insurgency

The attacks have led to many people fleeing villages in Borno.

A resident of Magumeri village told BBC Hausa that about 75% of residents had left the settlement out of fear that it would be Boko Haram's next target.

He added that he had stayed behind because of a lack of transport, but he and his family, along with the other remaining residents, would spend the night in the bush.

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno and two other states last May, giving the military extra powers to defeat Boko Haram.

His critics say the state of emergency has been ineffectual, and government forces are poorly armed and often lack the numbers to fight the militants.

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