Kano: At least 30 people were killed in three attacks by Islamists in northeastern Nigeria, local officials and inhabitants said Wednesday.
The three assaults were carried out simultaneously Tuesday. In the deadliest, over 20 were killed outside Ngamdu, a local legislator, Mohammed Sando, told AFP.
"Boko Haram gunmen... yesterday set up a barricade on the Damaturu-Maidiguri highway just outside Ngamdu, and attacked motorists. They killed over 20," Sando said.
"They then moved to Ngamdu and began to set houses on fire. Last week they burnt almost half the vilage in a similar raid," he added.
Haruna Kabil, a bus driver, said a large number of people from Ngamdu fled their homes after the attacks.
"Some houses in Ngamdu were smouldering when I passed this morning. I learned from some passengers I took from Ngamdu that Boko Haram invaded the village in the evening and began burning homes after attacking motorists on the highway. They said that many people were killed on the highway, by the attackers," Kabil told AFP.
Near Baga, which is located northeast of Ngamdu, Boko Haram attacked residents who had decided to return home from Maiduguri, where they had been living in forced displacement since January.
"Yesterday, they chartered a lorry to (take) them to Baga. On reaching Garin-Giwa, which is just four kilometres (2.5 miles) from Baga, they were ambushed by Boko Haram gunmen who opened fire on the vehicle, forcing dozens of men inside to flee into the bush," said Abubakar Gamandi, head of the fishermen`s union in Borno state.
"The gunmen however apprehended eight of the passengers and shot them in the head," he added.
In Damasak, Boko Haram assailants set fire to the town and "opened fire on everyone they saw," said local resident Buba Ari.
"We are now going through the burnt area looking for bodies. So far we have covered five."
The attacks underlined the threat still posed by the Islamists, despite the authorities` pledges to crush Boko Haram`s insurgency and with a new regional force set to deploy at the end of the month.