Suspected Boko Haram fighters stormed a village in northeast Nigeria and killed three people on suspicion of collaborating with the military, security sources told AFP on Monday.
A group of jihadists stormed Kalari Abdiye village, in the Konduga area of Borno state, between 2:00 am and 3:00 am (0100-0200 GMT) on Saturday.
Three locals had their throats cuts while the fourth was left severely wounded, according to a member of the civilian militia assisting troops and a military officer.
The gunmen identified themselves as being from the Boko Haram faction headed by Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, which has vowed to hit military and government targets, the militia member said.
“They singled out the four men whom they accused of collaboration with the military. They accused the men of passing information to the military,” he added, asking not to be identified.
“The gunmen took the men outside the village where they slaughtered three of the men.”
Long-time Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq in March 2015, at a time when it was losing captured territory to government forces.
But last year IS announced that it recognised Barnawi — the son of Boko Haram’s founder Mohammed Yusuf — as being in charge of its “West Africa province”.
Barnawi has criticised Shekau’s indiscriminate attacks on civilians.
The security sources said the gunmen seized livestock from the nearby village of Dekete but “told the villagers not to panic, that they were not going to touch anyone”.
Fighters from the Barnawi camp employed a similar tactic on Friday, when they raided a village for food and medical supplies southwest of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.
Analysts suggest that in doing so, he may be trying to bolster public support for the group, which if successful would make the government and military fightback harder.