From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri
At least 45 people were reportedly killed on Wednesday night, while several others wounded when suspected members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect attacked Bargari village, Konduga local government area of Borno state.
Bargari is an outskirt of Maiduguri, the state capital, about 15 kilometres drive from the city.
Our correspondent reported that the incident threw residents of Maiduguri and environs into panic, following the horrifying sounds of explosives and gunshots, which were heard in virtually all parts of the town.
The fears were heightened when sporadic shootings intensified as rumors spread that the insurgents were trying to invade Maiduguri and were being battled by the military.
Beside loss of lives, the attack also displaced many villagers, as the attackers set ablaze houses, shops and vehicles, before carting away large quantities of assorted food items and livestock.
A resident of the village who escaped the attack and fled to Maiduguri, Malam Bukar Goni, told newsmen that he counted 45 dead bodies, including his neighbour.
He said the gunmen, armed with assault rifles and explosives have driven into the village in Hilux vehicles and several motorcycles at about 9 pm.
According to him, the invaders told residents to assemble in one location after persuading them to believe that they were on preaching mission and not unleash terror on the community.
The resident decried absence of security forces in the area, saying throughout the onslaught which lasted for two honours, there was no response from the security forces, who were stationed in the nearby Kayamla community, a few kilometers from the scene of the attack.
Meanwhile there has been no response from the military authorities on the attack as at the time of filing this report.