Radical Islamist militants shot and slit the throats of dozens of villagers in Nigeria early Sunday as they chanted “Allah is great,” according to multiple media reports.
The brutal attack occurred in the remote village of Izghe in Borno State in northeast Nigeria where the government has been cracking down on hardline Islamist Boko Haram militants.
Funerals were held on Sunday afternoon for 52 Muslim victims of the violence, the AP reported.
Reuters spoke to locals who described the frightening scene. “The Boko Haram gunmen surrounded the village of Izge, near the border with Cameroon, spraying it with bullets, setting off explosions and burning down dozens of houses,” Reuters wrote.
“As I am talking to you now, all the dead bodies of the victims are still lying in the streets,” resident Abubakar Usman told Reuters. “We fled without burying them, fearing the terrorists were still lurking in the bushes.”
Borno state Police Commissioner Lawal Tanko confirmed the attack to the AP.
An unnamed survivor told the AP that aside from the killings, the militants looted village food stores, set mud homes on fire and stole about 10 vehicles.
While the militants have attacked churches, they have also targeted mosques. Last month, Islamist militants went on a bloody two-day shooting and bombing spree, including of a Sunday Christian church service.
The Nigerian air force is currently engaged in a bombing campaign to eject the extremists hiding in the forest along the Cameroon border.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” has been engaged in an uprising against the government of President Goodluck Jonathan since 2009, killing thousands in a country made up of Christians and Muslims.