No fewer than 185 women have been reported kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents in Gumsuri, North of Chibok in Borno State.
The insurgents, who killed about 32 men, set fire on the village with petrol bombs before herding the women and children in their pickup trucks.
The Sunday incident is coming less than nine months after over 200 schoolchildren were abducted by Boko Haram gunmen from their hostel in Chibok.
The fate of most of the girls remains unknown even though military authorities openly declared that they knew where they are being held.
News of the attack, according to the Cable News Network, took four days to emerge because of a lack of communication.
Telecommunications towers in the area had been disabled in previous attacks.
The CNN quoted a local government official in its report on Thursday as confirming the abduction.
“They gathered the women and children and took them away in trucks after burning most of the village with petrol bombs,” the official whose name was not given said.
He added that he learned of the attack from residents who fled to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
CNN reported that the Boko Haram militants stormed the village from two directions, overwhelming local vigilantes who had repelled them over the course of the year.
A resident of Gumsuri, Umar Ari, who trekked for four days to Maiduguri, said,
‘‘They destroyed almost half the village and took away 185 women, girls and boys.”
Another resident, Modu Kalli, said the militants fired heavy machine guns on the village and poured canisters of petrol 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.
CNN reported on Thursday that hundreds of residents of Gumsuri continued to arrive in Maiduguri, a city that has been struggling to accommodate thousands of people fleeing towns and villages overrun by Boko Haram.
Our correspondent could not get the Director, Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, to comment on the Sunday attack as calls to his mobile telephone line indicated that it was either switched off or in an area outside network.
Meanwhile, Cameroon army killed 116 Boko Haram militants who attacked a base in the far north of the country on Wednesday.
A Cameroonian Defence ministry spokesman, Lt. Col. Didier Badjeck, who made this known to Reuters, added that the damage on the Nigerian side of the border “after the vigorous riposte of our artillery,” was unknown.
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