Suspected Boko Haram gunmen killed 10 people who had fled their homes to escape repeated attacks by the insurgents, after hunting them down in a nearby village, witnesses said today.
Residents of Krenuwa village fled to nearby communities after a Boko Haram raid last month that left seven dead and saw the extremists raze a military camp, police station and several homes.
About a dozen militants stormed the villages of Durwa and Maforo in the Marte district yesterday, where some of them were seeking refuge.
"They came on motorcycles and gathered people before singling out their victims who moved in from Krenuwa after it was attacked", said Usman Ari, a Durwa resident.
"They shot six of them dead and slaughtered four," said Ari, who fled to the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, some 100 kilometres away after the attack.
After the attack in Durwa, where six were killed, the suspected Boko Haram gunmen stormed nearby Maforo and killed four, said Hassan Goni, another Durwa resident, who also fled to Maiduguri.
"We are afraid they are going to come back for more attacks which is why we left," he added.
After the attack on Krenuwa village, a counter-offensive by soldiers killed five insurgents and captured five more.
Krenuwa resident Abba Kolomi said Boko Haram had also killed six people from the village who sought refuge across the border in Chad.
The Marte district was one of the areas where Boko Haram chased out the government last year, forcing President Goodluck Jonathan to declare a state of emergency in the region and a military offensive to crush the uprising.
A scorched-earth military response reclaimed the territory but deadly Boko Haram raids on towns and villages in the area have continued unabated.