At least 86 people including children have been killed in the latest Boko Haram attack in the village of Dalori in north-eastern Nigeria.
Witnesses reported Boko Haram fighters firebombing huts and shooting terrified civilians as they tried to flee the attack over the weekend. There are also reports that a number of children were unable to escape and were burnt to death.
According to army spokesman Colonel Mustafa Anka, attackers arrived in cars and motorcycles, opening fire on the villagers, then setting fire to homes. Three female suicide bombers also blew themselves up.
Troops were initially unable to fight off the attackers until more heavily armed reinforcements arrived.
62 people are being treated for burns.
Gunmen also tried to attack a camp homing approximately 25,000 refugees close to Dalori but were eventually repelled by troops.
The European Union has condemned the attacks, reaffirming its commitment to supporting the regional African states in their fight against extremist groups.
- Nigeria is Africa’s most populated nation. It is the largest producer of oil and has the largest economy but, due to widespread corruption, has limited infrastructure.
- There is a strong north/south divide, with the mainly Muslim north trailing behind the predominantly Christian south in terms of wealth distribution and education.
- Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram emerged in Nigeria in 2003.
- Although suspected of a number of attacks previously, they came to the fore in 2014 when they kidnapped 276 girls from a school dormitory in the town of Chibok.
- Since 2013 they have targeted their attacks and killings on school children, with reports suggesting they intend to recruit or murder boys and rape or marry the girls.
- Financing themselves through ransom kidnappings, bank robberies and other illegal activities, they also have training and weaponry links to other extremist groups.
- They are currently demanding the release of Boko Haram prisoners and an Islamic state.
- The war between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government has killed 20,000 people in six years, driven 2.3 million from their homes and, according to the UN, forced 1 million children from school.