Boko Haram gunmen killed seven people in a raid on a town in northeast Nigerian Borno state near the border with Cameroon on Saturday, residents told AFP on Saturday.
Gunmen on motorcycles stormed the town of Rann in Kalabalge district overnight Friday to Saturday and opened fire on homes, fleeing residents said.
“They opened fire on homes as we slept and killed seven people before carting away our food supplies and drugs from the only clinic in the town,” Rann resident Abba Abiso said. He said the Islamists remained in the town for two hours before they left. Residents had fled the town into Cameroon and to the town of Gamboru, 28 kilometres away.
Another witness Ari Ngamsu added: “The Boko Haram gunmen planted two high calibre explosives on the way outside the town but soldiers from Gamboru succeeded in defusing them at daybreak.”
Both witnesses spoke on Cameroonian phone lines, the only means of communication available following the destruction of telecom masts by Boko Haram in previous attacks. Rann and nearby villages have been been targeted in a number of attacks by Boko Haram despite successes by the Nigerian military that have pushed the Islamists out of some areas. The attacks have forced villagers to flee their homes, returning to them after they were clawed back by the military.
Last month the insurgents sacked neighbouring Wumbi and Jikana villages outside Rann, killing eight people and looting food supplies. Boko Haram which seeks to impose strict Islamic law in northern Nigeria, has killed some 20,000 and displaced more than 2.6 million people since 2009.