In a series of attacks, 50 Islamist militants surrounded a village in northeast Nigeria with explosives, killing 52 people on Monday. The day before, a church was attacked in a nearby village, killing 22 and wounding 16.
Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group, was blamed for the attacks. The group, whose name literally means "Western education is forbidden," was able to execute the attacks despite the efforts of the Nigerian military to eradicate the group. Last May, the Nigerian government declared a state of emergency in three states in northern Nigeria where the terror group is the most active.
Terrorists launched their assault at the close of a busy market day in the Kawuri village of Borno. The village was surrounded by explosives. Gunmen then stormed the village with additional explosives and heavy guns. Residents not killed in the attack on the market were attacked in their homes, which were burned to the ground.
A survivor who fled the village said, “No house was left standing,” confirming reports that 300 houses had been razed in the attack.
The previous day, the group attacked a busy church in the neighboring Adamawa state. Witnesses told the Reuters news agency that the attackers set off bombs and fired into the congregation. Twenty-two people were killed in that attack. Those that survived the initial attack were shot. Homes were burned and residents were taken hostage during a four-hour siege, according to local reports.
In the month of January alone, attacks by Boko Haram, claimed the lives of close to 200 people in the area around Maiduguri, the capital of Borno. In a single day, 70 people were killed when a car bomb was set off in Maiduguri mid-month.
Hundreds of residents from close to 30 farming villagess around Maiduguri have fled their homes, taking refuge in campsites just outside the city.
This month alone, the UN reports that more than 5,000 Nigerians have crossed the borders into neighboring Cameroon and Niger to escape the violence. Since the state of emergency was declared, more than 1,200 people have been killed by Islamists, according to the UN.