Borno State commissioner of Police, Lawan Tanko has confirmed to AFP that at least 45 people have been killed and another 26 injured in the latest terrorist attack on Borno State indigenes on Sunday evening.
“So far, we have 45 dead and 26 injured… but the figures could increase as our men are still in the village searching for more casualties,” Tanko told AFP.
Gunmen disguised as traders stormed Kawuri in the Konduga LG area of Borno state at about 1600 GMT on Sunday.
According to witnesses the gunmen arrived in four-wheel-drive vehicles and opened fire with machine guns before setting off homemade bombs that destroyed houses and other property.
Mr Tanko, who blamed the attack on “the Boko Haram sect”, said he could not confirm that explosives were used but a specialist bomb disposal team had been sent in to search for unexploded devices.
He added that security forces in Kawuri were powerless to prevent the attack.
Kawuri was attacked in October last year when suspected Boko Haram fighters clashed with a civilian vigilante group, leaving 10 dead and dozens of shops and homes razed.
A trader who witnessed the latest attack, said: “The terrorists were armed with AK-47 rifles, improvised explosive devices and petrol bombs.
“They entered the community and wreaked havoc before they fled into the Sambisa forest, which is not far from the village.
“It was much, much later that security forces came and it was night already, and the attackers had earlier subdued the soldiers that were already on the ground.”
In another development, emergency relief and disaster agencies said they were assisting people affected by yet another attack on Sunday in the village of Waga Chakawa, Adawama.
Reports suggested that gunmen opened fire on a Roman Catholic church and set homes ablaze. Two official sources indicated that at least 22 were killed.
The state police commissioner, Godfrey Okeke, referred all queries to the military, officials of which were not immediately available to confirm casualty figures.
“The main details are sketchy because it’s a security issue,” said National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesman Abdulkadir Ibrahim.
“The Red Cross and Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency have mobilised. They are on the ground trying to provide some relief for those who lost their houses.”
Adamawa has also been under emergency rule since May but has been relatively calm compared to its northern neighbour Borno.
Nigeria’s new chief of defence staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh, has vowed to bring the insurgency to “a complete stop” before April.