About 82 bodies had been recovered so far from four attacks in three different locations by suspected Boko Haram militants in a state in Nigeria’s northeast region, local sources said.
Corpses of Boko Haram militants, civilians, and some soldiers were recovered since Saturday in the latest bloody attacks in three locations of the northeastern state of Borno, local media reported on Sunday.
However, the Nigerian army said in a statement on Sunday that only 20 Boko Haram militants were killed by troops while repelling an attack in Monguno, one of the locations of the four attacks this weekend.
The army said that the militants had “attempted to breach the town” but troops inflicted heavy casualties on them. Some of the militants were captured and their equipment, including four gun trucks, was destroyed.
The media and other local sources, including humanitarian workers, confirmed some 20 soldiers were killed while repelling the attack in Monguno.
In Gubio and Nganzai, two other locations that came under intense attacks by the Boko Haram militants, a total of 42 civilians were killed on the same day, according to a top military officer.
A village head said the militants held sway for several hours shooting everyone at sight, including women and children, while burning down houses in Nganzai.
“We held a mass burial for our beloved ones killed today (Sunday). This is sad. In Gubio, another mass burial was held today also for people killed by these mindless killers. We really need security help,” said the village chief who spoke in a local Nigerian language.
On June 9, at least 81 residents were killed by Boko Haram militants in another village in Gubio, according to local officials.
Since 2009, Boko Haram has been trying to establish an Islamist state in northeastern Nigeria, extending its attacks to countries in the Lake Chad Basin.
The group has posed enormous security, humanitarian and governance challenges in the Lake Chad Basin, including Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Benin, and Niger, according to the United Nations.