MAIDUGURI, Nigeria - Gunmen from Islamist group Boko Haram killed 27 villagers in two attacks in Nigeria's restive northeast this week, a government official said, as violence continued to flare in the face of an army crackdown on the militants.
Boko Haram wants to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria and has become the biggest security threat in Africa's second largest economy and top oil exporter.
Six people were killed in an attack on Wednesday night in Gamboru, a remote town close to the Cameroon border in Borno state, local government chairman Alhaji Modu Gana Sheriff told reporters.
Sheriff said gunmen returned on Thursday night and killed 21 more civilians. A Borno military source said he thought the attacks were coordinated and confirmed the death toll.
Authorities have disconnected phone lines in Borno to try to disrupt Boko Haram's operations, which means it often takes days for news of attacks to reach state capital Maiduguri.