The picture shows Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau -File Photo/AFP
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria: Suspected Islamist extremists killed at least 44 villagers in continuing attacks in an uprising in northeast Nigeria, said an official of the National Emergency Management Agency.
He said the attackers hit Dumba village in Borno state before dawn Tuesday and slit their victims' throats — a new strategy, since gunfire attracts security forces.
He added that they gouged out the eyes of some of the victims who had survived.
The official spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to give information to reporters. The highly sensitive conditions in the area make it dangerous to reveal identities.
Dumba is near the fishing village of Baga where security forces in March gunned down 187 civilians in retaliation to an attack by extremists.
It is difficult to get information from the area under a state of emergency, with cell phone and Internet service cut.
Borno is one of three northeastern states under a state of emergency declared May 14 to crack down on the Boko Haram terrorist network.
Boko Haram, whose name means 'Western Education is forbidden', has committed at least 168 acts of violence against Christians in 2012 alone.
Since 2010, more than 1,700 people have been killed in attacks by Islamist insurgents, according to an Associated Press count.