Seventy people have been killed in fresh attacks in Adamawa and Borno States by suspected members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect.
Gunmen with explosives raided a Catholic Church in Waga Chakawa village in Adamawa during mass killing eighteen people.
The community is in Madagali Local Government, which borders Gwoza Local Government of Borno State and is known for series of insurgent attacks since the declaration of state of emergency.
The assailants, according to eyewitnesses, had set off bombs and fired into the congregation in the church on Sunday morning at about 10 am, before burning houses and taking residents hostage during a four-hour siege.
None of the taskforce teams was said to have responded to distress calls.
One of the witnesses, who preferred anonymity for fear of reprisals, said: “They (Boko Haram members) used explosives during the attack on worshippers and 18 people lost their lives.”
Another witness, who simply identified himself as Apogu, added: “I cannot actually say how many people were killed but I assure you that about 18 dead bodies were evacuated from the church.”
It was further confirmed that some houses were razed by the attackers who also took some men as hostage, while some were beaten and injured.
“I saw some people crying saying that their relations had been taken away as hostages by the gunmen,” said a man who identified himself as Musa.
Attempts to get the military and police authorities in the area to comment on the incident did not yield results.
However, the Reuters news agency quoted a soldier in the area, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as stating that nine people lost their lives during the attack.
He said the army had sealed the area and were hunting for the attackers.
The spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Yola, Reverend Father Raymond Danbouye, confirmed that the 22 people who were killed in the attack were buried at a funeral yesterday.
In another incident, security officials have confirmed that the same suspected Islamic extremists used explosives to attack a village in Borno State, killing 52 people and razing more than 300 homes.
A security official told AP yesterday that the attackers planted several explosives at a market around Kawuri village in Konduga Local Government Area on Sunday.
They were alleged to have also wounded several policemen as well as civilians in the attack that took hours.
The attack, which happened at about 5pm on a market day (Sunday), according to a source, led to many traders and residents sustaining burns and had to be taken for treatment at both Konduga General Hospital and the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.
In the last one week, over 100 persons have been killed in attacks alleged to have been initiated by the terrorist group. These attacks, according to the United Nations, have led to 6,000 persons fleeing to neighbouring countries.
Thirty-seven communities of Kwaljiri, Kaya, Ngawo Fate, Limanti, Njaba, Yahuri, Mude, Wala and Alau, among others, in Damboa, Konduga and Gwoza Council Areas have all been sacked by terrorists compelling displaced residents to take refuge in some neighbouring villages of Cameroun and other towns, including Maiduguri metropolis.
As a result of the latest attack, Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima was said to have prepared to visit the village yesterday, but was advised by the security agencies to shelve the idea as the military was still conducting an operation to flush the insurgents out of the village.