Boko Haram [the radical Islamic terrorist group] killed three people and set fire to scores of homes in a raid targeting vulnerable rural communities in northeast Nigeria, a local official said on Thursday.
Modu Ganamani, information officer for the Guzamala local government area in northern Borno state, said the attack happened at about 15:00 on Wednesday.
“Boko Haram insurgents came in large numbers in trucks and on motorcycles and attacked Goram and two neighbouring villages, Lingis and Ajidari,” he told AFP by telephone. “They killed three people and burned around 150 homes. They looted foodstores and set them on fire.” It was not immediately clear which faction of Boko Haram was responsible for the attack.
Hit-and-run raids were often used by fighters loyal to Abubakar Shekau when they began to take over swathes of territory in remote rural areas.
The Islamic State group-backed faction of Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi has vowed not to attack civilians but has also raided villages for food.
Whichever group is responsible, the attack underlines the risks faced by civilians who have returned to their homes as a result of the military counter-insurgency.
People in the Guzamala area moved to the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, in November 2015 because of Boko Haram attacks in the area and only moved back last February, said Ganamani.
Also on Wednesday, two people were killed when a convoy of vehicles hit landmines on the road from the Borno state capital to Dikwa, 90km away.
Suicide bombings against civilian targets, particularly in and around camps for the displaced, remain common, despite military claims the jihadists have been defeated.