Boko Haram jihadists have killed two people in an attack on a village in northeast Nigeria near the town of Chibok, residents and a militia official told AFP Tuesday.

This screen grab image taken on January 2, 2018 from a video released on January 2, 2018 by Islamist group Boko Haram shows Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau speaking in his first video message in months amid a surge in violence casting doubt on the Nigerian government’s claim that the jihadist group is defeated.
Shekau’s message comes during an acceleration of Boko Haram attacks and just days after the jihadists killed 25 people outside Maiduguri, the birthplace of the Islamist insurgency. / AFP PHOTO

The jihadists, believed to be loyal to Boko Haram factional leader Abubakar Shekau, late Monday raided Mifah, seven kilometres from Chibok, where militants abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in 2014.

Boko Haram’s nine-year conflict has killed an estimated 27,000 people and displaced two million, creating a humanitarian crisis and spilling into Nigeria’s northern neighbours.

“They killed two people and looted the village before setting it on fire,” said David Bitrus, a civilian militia member fighting alongside the army, after the Mifah attack.

“The village has been reduced to ashes. Six people were injured in the attack,” he said.

The attack, which happened around 8 pm (1900 GMT), forced residents of the village to flee to Chibok.

“The gunmen came in a truck and on several motorcycles and began shooting in the village,” said Mifah resident Manasseh Amos.

“They took all our food and livestock and burnt the village. We have nothing left,” Amos said.

Troops were stationed in Chibok since the schoolgirls were abducted four years ago, but violent Boko Haram raids have continued in communities across Nigeria’s remote northeast.

Chibok lies close to Boko Haram’s Sambisa forest enclave from where the jihadists launch attacks on nearby villages.

In recent days Boko Haram militants have increasingly attacked civilian targets in the region.

On Saturday, the militants burnt down three neighbouring villages near the state capital Maiduguri in an overnight raid that left two people dead.

The raid came hours after the jihadists hacked to death 12 farmers working in their nearby fields.

On Thursday, Boko Haram fighters looted and burnt Kalli village near the town of Damboa after fighting off soldiers protecting it, according to local officials.

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