Brutal attacks on three villages by Boko Haram Islamists in the restive northeast of Nigeria have left 30 dead and 20 wounded, a vigilante told AFP.
“Most of the victims were slaughtered and the wounded suffered from machete cuts,” Mustapha Karimbe, a civilian helping the Nigerian military fight Boko Haram, said of the attacks in Warwara, Mangari and Bura-Shika villages, Borno State.
News of the attacks has taken time to break because communication masts have been destroyed in previous Boko Haram raids.
The Islamists invaded the villages, hacking and slaughtering their victims before setting houses on fire.
The villages are near Buratai, the hometown of Nigeria’s highest military chief Tukur Yusuf.
Warwara, where 20 people were killed, was the worst affected, said Musa Suleiman, another vigilante.
The attackers killed six people in Bura-Shika and another four in Mangari.
The latest deaths take the number of people killed in Nigeria since President Muhammadu Buhari took office in May to more than 1,530.
Buratai and nearby settlements have recently been the targets of raids by Boko Haram.
Residents believe the attacks are in response to the pressure that the army chief is exerting on Boko Haram in counter-insurgency operations.
On Thursday, Boko Haram insurgents killed 14 people - decapitating some of them - when they raided Kamuya village, the hometown of the army chief’s mother.
Meanwhile, the government has denied claims that President Muhammadu Buhari received $300,000 from his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
There are reports that President Buhari was offered the money by former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki, as compensation following an attack on his convoy by Boko Haram insurgents in Kaduna.
“It is not true that President Buhari received $300,000 or any other amount from the Jonathan Presidency or its officials, in the aftermath of that attack, or at any other time since then,” said a release from Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina.
President Buhari is said to have shunned most of his entitlements as former head of state.