Nigeria jihadists kill 27 people in four attacks
Published: Feb 28, 2022 06:17 PM
A general view of Nigeria Photo: VCG

A general view of Nigeria Photo: VCG

Jihadists in northeast Nigeria have since Friday killed 27 people in four separate attacks, security sources and residents told AFP on Sunday. 

The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), who split from rival Boko Haram jihadists in 2016, has escalated attacks in recent weeks, despite ongoing military operations.

Late on Saturday, ISWAP killed 24 civilians in three villages in Borno state, an anti-jihadist militia leader and a resident told AFP.

They said the civilians were targeted for helping troops fighting the militants.

Military spokespeople and local officials have not yet confirmed the attacks and did not respond to AFP's requests for comment.

The villages are on the fringes of Sambisa forest, a major jihadist hideout.

Fighters drove into Sabongarin Kimba, Mandara-Girau and Ngama villages in Biu district, targeting residents, the sources said.

"The terrorists killed 24 people in the three villages last night," an anti-jihadist militia leader Mustapha Karimbe said.

"They moved from village to village, selecting their targets and slaughtering them," said Karimbe, adding that nine residents were killed in Sabongarin Kimba, seven in Mandara-Girau and eight in Ngama.

He said soldiers had enlisted the help of villagers to clear shrubs along the highway linking the villages, which the militants use as cover for ambushes. 

The attacks were "punishment for the residents' aiding soldiers," he added.

The jihadists had sent a warning to villagers not to clear the foliage threatening "grave consequences," said another militia member, Umar Ari, giving the same death toll.

Resident of nearby Biu town, Ahmad Babagana said the militants stormed Sabongarin Kimba around 2000 GMT before proceeding to Ngama and Mandara-Girau.