Maiduguri - Gunmen from
Islamist group Boko Haram killed 27 villagers in two attacks in
Nigeria's restive northeast this week, a government official said, as
violence continued to flare in the face of an army crackdown on the
Boko Haram wants to create an
Islamic state in northern Nigeria and has become the biggest security
threat in Africa's second largest economy and top oil exporter.
people were killed in an attack on Wednesday night in Gamboru, a remote
town close to the Cameroon border in Borno state, local government
chairman Alhaji Modu Gana Sheriff told reporters.
said gunmen returned on Thursday night and killed 21 more civilians. A
Borno military source said he thought the attacks were coordinated and
confirmed the death toll.
have disconnected phone lines in Borno to try to disrupt Boko Haram's
operations, which means it often takes days for news of attacks to reach
state capital Maiduguri.
has intensified over the past two months, as the Islamists fight back
against a military operation that President Goodluck Jonathan ordered in
May to try to crush their four-year-old rebellion.
was an initial lull in the violence when the military operation started
in May and Islamists fled their bases in cities, forests and mountains
across the northeast.
But then the
militants started revenge attacks, first on schools, seen as focuses of
the Western culture they despise, then on the security forces and the
civilians they believed were helping the army.
hundred people have died in attacks over the past few weeks. Some
observers say the army offensive has only succeeded in pushing attacks
away from well-guarded large towns and cities into vulnerable rural
Thousands have been killed
since Boko Haram launched its uprising against the state in 2009,
turning itself from a clerical movement opposed to Western culture into
an armed militia with growing links to al Qaeda's West African wing.