Lagos, Dec 18: Armed men suspected to be members of the deadly Boko Haram group have killed 32 people and abducted 185 others in Gumsuri village northeast Nigeria's Borno state, a security source and witnesses told Xinhua on Thursday.
Among those abducted were married women, girls and boys, a security source, who declined to be named, told Xinhua over phone.
The village head and leader of the youth vigilante, also known as the civilian Joint Task Force (JTF), were also killed by the attackers who invaded the village Sunday. Several civilian JTF members were injured while attempting to repel the invasion, the source said.According to a CNN report, gunmen in pickup trucks attacked the village of Gumsuri, just north of Chibok, a local government area in Borno Sunday.
"They gathered women and children and took them away in trucks after burning most of the village with petrol bombs," a local government official said on the condition of anonymity.
News of the attack took four days to emerge because of lack of communication, with telecom towers in the region having been disabled in previous attacks.
Local officials learned of the attack from residents who fled to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, where the officials had moved a year ago to escape Boko Haram attacks.
The militants stormed the village from two directions, overwhelming local vigilantes who had repelled the Boko Haram over the course of the year, said Gumsuri resident Umar Ari, who had trekked for four days to Maiduguri.
Boko Haram has killed more than 3,000 people this year
"They destroyed almost half of the village and took away 185 women, girls and boys," Ari said.Another resident, Modu Kalli, said that the militants fired with heavy machine guns on the village and poured canisters of gasoline on houses before setting them on fire.
"We lost everything in the attack. I escaped with nothing, save the clothes I have on me," Kalli said.
Hundreds of residents of Gumsuri continue to arrive in Maiduguri, which has been struggling to accommodate thousands of residents fleeing towns and villages overrun by the militant group.
The Boko Haram, which has proved to be a major security threat in Nigeria since 2009, seeks to enshrine the Islamic Sharia law in the constitution of Africa's most populous country.
The radical Islamist terror group Boko Haram, a name, which translated from the local dialect, means "non-Islamic education is a sin", has killed more than 3,000 people this year, according to the Nigerian government.The group has targeted mainstream Islam, saying that it does not represent the interests of Nigeria's 80 million Muslims and that it perverts Islam.