No fewer than seven people were reportedly killed after terrorist group, Boko Haram, attacked a village in Borno State, in an increasing wave of violence visited on the locals in recent times.
It was learnt that the attack on Pemi, said to be a predominantly Christian village in the state, was carried on Christmas Eve. The village is located only 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Chibok, where Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls six years ago.
As gathered, the Boko Haram fighters stormed the village in trucks and motorcycles with dangerous weapons on Thursday night shooting indiscriminately and setting buildings on fire.
An eyewitness, identified as Abwaku Kabu, said that the assailants, who drove from the group’s nearby Sambisa forest enclave, looted medical supplies from a hospital before setting it ablaze, adding that they also burnt a church and abducted a priest.
“The terrorists killed seven people, burnt 10 homes and looted food supplies that were meant to be distributed to residents to celebrate Christmas,” Kabu, who is also a militia leader told newsmen.
Confirming the attack, a local community leader, Ayuba Alamson, said that a body was found on Friday morning, raising the number of dead to seven.
According to him, the toll could rise as villagers fled into the bush during the attack and some people are still unaccounted for.
Separately Thursday, gunmen attacked another Christian community in Garkida, in neighbouring Adamawa state, looting drug stores and food supplies before torching homes, residents told AFP.
There were no reports of casualties from that attack.
In many parts of Nigeria, communities have resorted for self-defense to armed vigilantes or militias, who work alongside the army.