Dressed in military uniforms, the insurgents attacked Gamboru, a remote town of the northeastern state of Borno, late Monday, Xinhua quoted a representative of the area at the Nigerian Senate as saying Tuesday.
The insurgents attacked the town, located on the Nigeria-Cameroon border, and shot at its residents indiscriminately, Ahmed Zannah of the Nigerian Senate said.
According to the lawmaker, the attackers stormed into the town when some of the residents were fast asleep and set ablaze houses while shooting at residents who tried to escape from the fire.
“About 200 people were confirmed dead after the incident, with several others injured. Almost all the houses in the town were destroyed by the hoodlums who threw improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at the buildings,” Zannah told reporters.
Eyewitnesses said the insurgents set ablaze some 17 trucks at a cattle market in the town, while damaging about 100 vehicles.
Residents blamed the Boko Haram for the attack, although there was no immediate claim by the group for the mass killing.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is currently grappling with security challenges, one of which is the insurgency of Boko Haram, a sect which seeks to enshrine the Islamic Sharia law in the constitution.
Last Thursday, at least 20 people were killed in a blast in the capital Abuja, where the World Economic Forum on Africa will kick off Wednesday.