World Bulletin/News Desk
Suspected militants dressed as soldiers rounded up and killed at least 42 villagers in northeastern Nigeria, as an escalating insurgency increasingly targets civilians, a police source said.
The shootings on the outskirts of the city of Maiduguri late on Wednesday came a day after officials said raiders killed scores in three other settlements in Borno state.
The gunmen in military uniform arrived in three vehicles, called the civilians together in the village of Bardari, then opened fire, the police source told Reuters. "The people couldn't identify them in time as terrorists."
The militants then left, crossing a river and setting fire to houses in the neighbouring village of Kayamla, added the source.
"Boko Haram wreaked havoc in the villages. They burned houses and killed people mercilessly after tricking the residents," said Saleh Mohammed, a member of Civilian JTF - one of a number of vigilante groups that have sprung up to try to fight back.
Those civilian groups face revenge attacks by Boko Haram, which had focused mostly on military and government targets in the early days of its revolt.
No group claimed responsibility for the latest attacks. Boko Haram has no direct line of communication with the Western press and its purported leader, Abubakar Shekau, only occasionally claims attacks through videos circulated to local journalists.