At least 19 people were killed in an Islamist militant attack on a village in north-east Nigeria on Sunday, a survivor said.
The strike is the latest blow to Nigeria’s efforts to defeat insurgencies by the Nigerian Islamist Boko Haram group and Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA). In recent months, the military suffered its heaviest defeats in years, commanders have been repeatedly replaced and Special Forces soldiers mutinied.
The militants attacked Mailari in the Guzamala region of Borno state at around 2 am, according to survivor, Abatcha Umar. He was not been able to tell whether they belonged to Boko Haram or to ISWA.
Umar said he counted 19 dead, including his younger brother. An aid worker at a camp that received the survivors and who declined to be identified put the death toll at 63.
The Islamist militants were spotted around the village three days before their attack, said Umar. Locals warned Nigerian troops stationed in nearby Gudumbali, but no action was taken, he said.
The aid worker said hundreds of people from villages in the area fled to the camp for displaced people where he worked in Monguno.