Gunmen riding motorcycles raided a Nigerian village under the cover of darkness, killing at least 46 people and setting homes ablaze, officials said.
The Boko Haram militants armed with machine guns opened fire on Dalori village near Maiduguri, relief officials said.
Some residents fled into the bush and watched as attackers torched their homes Saturday night.
An additional 35 people were injured, according to Mohammed Kanar, head of the regional National Emergency Management Agency.
‘We had just finished evening prayers’
In addition to the motorcycles, some militants arrived in golf carts, according to Col. Mustapha Anka, a regional military spokesman.
“We had just finished evening prayers when the gunmen came to our village and indiscriminately opened fire and set fire to homes,” resident Kulo Sheriff said.
“They detonated two bombs, which added to our fright and confusion. Everybody fled into the bush from where we saw our homes burning.”
‘We slept in the bush’
Resident Adamu Kyari? gave a similar account.
“We slept in the bush with no blankets despite the chilling weather,” Kyari said. “We could hear soldiers battling with the Boko Haram attackers. It was terrifying.”
As people fled toward to a nearby village, three women in suicide vests tried to make their way into a crowd, the military official said. They “were intercepted and subsequently got blown up,” he said.
Dalori is near the largest camp for those displaced by the terror group’s violence. It houses around 20,000 people.
The militant group has attacked the nation’s north for years.
Its aim is to impose a stricter enforcement of Sharia law across Africa’s most populous nation, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.
As the world remains transfixed on Syria-based ISIS, which has hit western nations, Boko Haram’s attacks have escalated.
Boko Haram has bombed schools, churches and mosques; kidnapped women and children; and assassinated politicians and religious leaders alike.
Last year, Boko Haram claimed the morbid title of deadliest terror group for its killings in Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon.
The extremist group based in northern Nigeria killed 6,644 people in 2014, an increase of more than 300% from the previous year, according to the latest tally from the Global Terrorism Index.
It killed more people than ISIS, which it reportedly pledged allegiance to last year, the tally says.
By Faith Karimi and Aminu Abubakar