Maiduguri (Nigeria): At least 38 people have been killed in weekend attacks in Nigeria by suspected Boko Haram insurgents, and another 34 are missing, local officials said Sunday.
Gunmen killed 14 nomadic herders in an attack on a village in the north eastern state of Borno, local government representative Alhaji Garba Ali told reporters.
At least 24 members of a vigilante group were killed in a separate attack in a forest in the same state, said another local official who asked not to be named.
The attackers were wearing military uniforms and the vigilantes followed them into the forest, believing them to be government soldiers, the official said.
"They took them to the middle of the forest before descending on them," he said. "About 24 bodies have been discovered, while 34 other persons are still missing."
The military has encouraged the formation of vigilante groups to help it track down Boko Haram members as it pursues an offensive in the northeast aiming to end the Islamist extremists` four-year insurgency.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the northeast in May and the military immediately launched a major offensive in the region aiming to end Boko Haram`s insurgency.
Boko Haram`s insurgency has left more than 3,600 dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces, who have been accused of major abuses.
The group has claimed to be fighting for the creation of an Islamic state in Africa`s most populous nation and largest oil producer, though it is believed to have a number of factions with varying aims.