Seven people were killed in a dawn raid in a village in northeast Nigeria, local militia and a resident said Tuesday of a suspected Boko Haram attack.
Gunmen in trucks and on motorcycles late on Monday, August 6 attacked Munduri, a village 13 kilometers (eight miles) north of Borno state capital Maiduguri, firing guns and rocket-propelled grenades, according to resident Abdullahi Bunu.
“The attackers seized seven people and beheaded them before setting fire to the entire village,” militia leader Umar Ari told AFP by telephone from Maiduguri.
Those who were decapitated were the village chief and his wife, Bunu said.
“We returned this morning and found the entire village burnt along with all our food supplies and livestock.”
It was not immediately clear who was behind the latest attack.
Boko Haram has intensified its armed campaign in recent weeks, including against military targets in which dozens of troops have been killed or are missing.
Five people were killed in a similar raid last week in Gasarwa village, near the garrison town of Monguno.
Boko Haram is divided into two factions that have competing goals and operational methods. One, led by Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawi, largely focuses on attacking the military. It is affiliated to Islamic State and is apparently in talks with the Nigerian government. The other, led by Abubakar Shekau, is notorious for suicide bombings and indiscriminate killings of civilians.
At the end of July, a group of jihadists in five trucks sacked a military post in nearby Bunari village, with a military source claiming 11 troops were killed.
Recent attacks underline the threat posed despite repeated government and military claims that Boko Haram, whose insurgency has killed at least 20,000 people since 2009, is a spent force and on the verge of defeat.
The government is now encouraging thousands of people displaced by the conflict to return to their homes from makeshift camps in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.
But international aid agencies working in the remote region say conditions are not right for mass returns, particularly in terms of security.
With reporting from AFP