Fifteen people were killed and 20 others wounded in an attack on a town in Nigeria’s restive northeast where Boko Haram militants operate, witnesses said on Monday.
“We counted about 15 bodies of victims at the end of the attack,” said Fantara Madugu, who saw Sunday’s attack in the Konduga area of Borno state, 37 kilometres (23 miles) southeast of Maiduguri.
“We also assisted in conveying about 20 injured persons to the hospital.”
Another witness, Isa Ibrahim, said gunmen stormed the town on four-wheel-drive vehicles, pretending to be traders who had come to do business in the market.
“Unknown to the people, the gunmen had planted improvised explosive devices at strategic areas in the town before carrying out the attack on residents,” he added.
Several houses and vehicles were set on fire before the gunmen fled, he said.
State police confirmed the incident but could not give exact casualty figures.
“Kawuri was attacked yesterday (Sunday) resulting in several deaths and injuries,” said state police commissioner Lawan Tanko.
Neither witnesses nor police said definitively that Boko Haram carried out the attack but the incident is strongly similar to others that take place regularly in the region.
Borno is one of three northeast states that has been under emergency rule since last May, as Nigeria’s military tries to put down an insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives since 2009.