Suspected Boko Haram Islamists have raided a mostly Christian village in northeastern Nigeria, killing dozens of people, witnesses say. The region is facing an Islamist insurgency.
Witnesses say suspected Islamist fighters attacked the mainly Christian Nigerian village of Izge near the border to Cameroon on Saturday evening, killing scores of people and burning down dozens of houses.
"They killed many, many people in the attack late Saturday. From the latest information I have gathered, more than 60 people have been killed," local government official Maina Ularamu told AFP news agency.
One witness said the attackers had gone from door to door to flush out people hiding in their houses, before assembling men in one place and slaughtering them.
Local villagers said they suspected that the gunmen were members of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which is seeking to create a strict Islamic state in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north. The oil-rich south of the country is mainly Christian.
The state of Borno (shown on map above), in which the village is situated, has been under emergency rule since May last year in a bid to stop the Islamist rebellion there, which has claimed thousands of lives since 2009.
Last week, Boko Haram militants killed 43 people in two separate attacks, causing hundreds of villagers in Borno to flee to the state capital, Maiduguri.
A military operation to put down the insurgency was launched when emergency rule was declared, but it has so far failed to curb Boko Haram's frequent attacks.
President Goodluck Jonathan last month replaced his top military brass, frustrated at the operation's lack of progress.
tj/hc (AFP, Reuters)