At least 45 people were killed in a suspected Boko Haram attack in northeast Nigeria, officials and witnesses said on Thursday, in the latest violence to hit the restive region.
Reports say the attack happened in the village of Azaya Kura in the Mafa area of Borno state on Wednesday, the caretaker chairman of Mafa local government area, Shettima Lawan said, calling it “wicked and despicable”.
Village chief Mallam Bulama said: “We counted 45 bodies at the end of the attack.” But other residents said more may have died after they fled into the bush.
Mafa, which is about 50 kilometres (30 miles) east by road from the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, and the surrounding area has been repeatedly attacked by the Islamist insurgents.
While Borno state people are killed ,there was commotion at the National Assembly on Thursday as a plot to stop the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, from entering the assembly complex failed.
The drama started as early as 6am when heavily armed policemen and hooded Department of State Service operatives blocked all the gates to the National Assembly.
They conducted searches on the vehicles of Senators, House members, workers and visitors to the complex, all in a bid to stop the speaker from entering the premises.
Riot policemen tear-gassed angry lawmakers, who were protesting against the development. The members were expected to deliberate over an extension of the state of Emergency rule in the troubled North-eastern parts of Nigeria.
In the latest attack, heavily armed militants arrived on motorcycles at about 12:00 pm (1100 GMT) on Wednesday as villagers were at work.
“So far, 45 men have been killed and there are others that died in the bushes as a result of bleeding from bullet wounds,” said on resident, who gave his name only as Jabiru.
Trader Musa Abbani, who fled to Maiduguri, added: “The attackers destroyed more than half of the houses in our village, burnt over 50 motorcycles and four cars before they took away foodstuff and animals.”
A village elder, Mohammed Bukar, said: “We are still picking our pieces and looking for our missing people, especially those who could not be seen in Maiduguri.”
Survivors, most of them the elderly, were seen making preparations to bury the dead. Fifty people were said to have been injured and locals said the militants, who have said to have captured more than two dozen northeast towns, blocked exits to prevent people fleeing.
Lawan, who visited Azaya Kura on Thursday under tight security, said: “How can some people be so wicked to kill innocent people, 45 people at once without any confrontation?
“There is no compulsion in religion and I am still searching for the motive behind mass killing and destruction by some people under the guise of entrenching certain religion.
“I wish to appeal to the Federal Government to take urgent steps and rescue our people from imminent extinction.”