Boko Haram extremists have killed more than 100 people in Nigeria, according to a civil defence spokesman.
They also hoisted their black and white flag over a town left undefended by Nigeria’s military, just 53 miles from the north-eastern state capital of Maiduguri, Abbas Gava of the Nigerian Vigilante Group said.
Hundreds of villagers in another north east area, Askira Uba, are fleeing after receiving letters from the Islamic extremists threatening to attack and take over their areas, he added.
“Nine major villages are on the run,” Mr Gava said.
Survivors said that insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades and lobbed home-made bombs into homes, and then gunned down people as they tried to escape the fires in the attack on Damboa town launched before dawn on Friday. Most of the town has burned down, they said.
A human rights advocate said the extremists struck again as people were trying to bury the dead later on Friday, and said the death toll is probably much higher than 100.
The only defence came from vigilantes armed with clubs and home-made rifles, Mr Gava said.