Fighters for the Boko Haram militant group killed at least 23 mourners returning from a funeral on Saturday in north-east Nigeria, according to a local militia and residents.
The attack took place in Borno state in Nigeria’s restive north-east. It came in the same week that the group marked 10 years of a deadly insurgency against the Nigerian state that has included suicide bombings and mass kidnappings and has killed tens of thousands of people.
At 11.30am, the attackers on three motorbikes opened fire on a group of men as they walked back from a funeral in Nganzai district near the state capital Maiduguri, local militia leader Bunu Bukar Mustapha said.
“Our men recovered 23 dead bodies from the scene of the attack, which happened this morning,” Mr Mustapha told AFP.
The men were returning to Badu Kuluwu from nearby Goni Abachari village where they had attended funeral prayers for a relative.
A Nganzai district official confirmed both the incident and death toll.
Local hunters and militia recovered the bodies.
Boko Haram fighters have repeatedly attacked Nganzai district.
In September last year, the group killed eight people and stole livestock in two villages in the area after residents tried to stop them from taking their animals.
Boko Haram and its ISIS-supported Iswap splinter have intensified attacks on civilian and military targets in recent months.
Late Thursday, Boko Haram fighters attacked a camp for displaced people outside Maiduguri, killing two residents and looting food supplies after burning a nearby military base.
The decade-long militant conflict has spilt over into neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon, claiming about 27,000 lives and forcing more than two million people to flee their homes.