Jihadists linked to the Islamic State have killed six people in raids on herding villages in northeast Nigeria, militia and residents said Sunday.
Fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) attacked Bunuri and Gaderi villages as well as a nearby herding settlement in Gubio district late Saturday, stealing livestock and killing residents, they said.
“The insurgents killed six people in the attacks and stole more than 3,000 cattle,” militia leader Ibrahim Liman told AFP.
The assailants riding in pickup trucks fitted with machine guns stormed into Bunuri around 1630 GMT, killing three people and taking hundreds of herds, according to Umara Kyari from nearby Tungushe village.
“We buried three people killed in the attack this morning,” said Kyari, who attended the funeral.
The jihadists attacked Gaderi after dark, taking along “more than 2,000 cows” after killing three residents who tried to stop them, Liman said.
ISWAP has in recent days carried out deadly attacks on herding communities in the area.
The attacks have raised fears the group is changing tactics to target civilians who have been largely spared in the past.
The group has previously targeted troops and military installations.
Late on Saturday ISWAP fighters made a foiled attempt to overrun a military base in the town of Konduga, 38 kilometres (23 miles) from the regional capital Maiduguri, military and militia sources said.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Nigeria’s decade-long conflict which has spilled into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, has killed 36,000 people and displaced 1.8 million in the country’s northeast alone.