by VOA News
At least 40 people were killed in Nigeria during recent attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants.
Witnesses and security sources say the attacks occurred in two neighboring villages in Borno state on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.
Residents who managed to escape told VOA that attackers arrived in vans and on motorcycles, burning homes, killing villagers and looting food from the poor farming community.
Isa Daburo, a resident, said some people were shot while others had their throats cut. He said women and children were among the victims.
Also on Monday, at least 30 people were killed when a female suicide bomber blew herself up in a crowded fish market near a mosque in Maiduguri, Borno state capital.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either attack but Islamist Boko Haram extremists have frequently targeted civilians during their six-year insurgency.
Boko Haram has kidnapped hundreds of girls and women, and the numbers of female suicide bombers has increased fears that it is using the captives in its campaign.
Boko Haram has stepped up attacks since Nigeria’s new president, Muhammadu Buhari, announced the military command center is moving from the capital, Abuja, to Maiduguri in Borno State.
The attacks come as Nigeria and its neighbors are preparing to strengthen a multinational army that this year drove Boko Haram out of the towns and villages where it had set up a so-called Islamic caliphate.