Boko Haram militants have killed seven people on Christmas Eve in a raid on a Christian village near the town of Chibok in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, local militia and residents told AFP on Wednesday.
Dozens of fighters driving trucks and motorcycles stormed into Kwarangulum late on Tuesday, shooting fleeing residents and burning homes after looting food supplies.
Boko Haram and its ISIS-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) faction have recently stepped up attacks on military and civilian targets.
“They killed seven people and abducted a teenage girl in the attack,” local vigilante David Bitrus said.
“They took away food stuff and burnt many houses before leaving,” he said, adding that a church was also burnt.
The militants were believed to have attacked from Boko Haram’s nearby Sambisa forest enclave, said Chibok community leader Ayuba Alamson who confirmed the toll.
In April, Boko Haram raided Kwarangulum, 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Chibok, stealing food and burning the entire village.
Residents had managed to flee before the arrival of the militants following tip-off from people who saw the gunmen heading toward the village.
Chibok is the scene of the mass kidnap of 276 schoolgirls in 2014 by Boko Haram which sparked global outrage and drew international attention to the group’s notoriety.
Fifty-seven of the girls escaped shortly after the kidnap. Another 107 have been either rescued or released after negotiations while 112 remain in captivity.
Troops have been stationed in Chibok since the kidnap but deadly Boko Haram raids continue in the area.
The decade-long conflict has killed 36,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes in the northeast, according to the United Nations.
The violence has spread to nearby Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the militant groups.