Africa

Boko Haram attack kills 43 in Nigeria

Boko Haram is also believed to have attacked this village of Konduga, in northeastern Nigeria last month (AAP)

Heavily armed Islamist extremists in 4WD trucks have attacked a mosque, markets and government buildings in a Nigerian village, killing 43 people.

Boko Haram gunmen have killed 43 people and razed scores of homes when they stormed two villages in northeast Nigeria, firing indiscriminately on fleeing civilians.

Heavily armed Islamist extremists in 4WD trucks attacked a mosque, markets and government buildings in a massive assault on Konduga village in the troubled state of Borno on Tuesday.

State governor Kashim Shettima said 39 people were killed in the raid, the latest in a series of attacks in Borno.

Another four people were killed Tuesday when gunmen opened fire in the village of Wajirko in Borno, the epicentre of a gruesome Islamist rebellion that has killed thousands of people across northern and central Nigeria since 2009.

Wajirko resident Adamu Maude said the attackers destroyed about 50 homes, adding, "we lost four people in the attack and six more have been taken to hospital".

Boko Haram has said it is fighting to create a strict Islamic state in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north.

The southern half of the oil-rich country, Africa's most populous, is mainly Christian.

Shettima told reporters at the scene on Wednesday that more than 70 per cent of Konduga had been "razed to the ground".

Another 65 people were being treated for burn and gunshot wounds, a hospital source in the state capital Maiduguri about 35 kilometres away told AFP.

Konduga resident Sulaiman Abubakar said 400 gunmen dressed in military fatigues descended on the village about 5.30pm (1630 GMT) and laid siege for several hours, destroying more than 2000 homes.

Those figures could not be verified by officials or the security forces, however, and other residents described a lower number of attackers.

Residents who fled the village have been too scared to return, multiple witnesses said.

In the village dead bodies, including those of women and children, could be seen lined up in the courtyard of the central mosque.

The walls of the mosque were charred, as were those of a local clinic and a library.

A teacher at a local girls' school who asked to remain anonymous said 20 masked gunmen broke into the compound, threatened the students and ordered them to stop studying and return home.

No students were harmed, but student and staff accommodation was set on fire and the school has been closed indefinitely and all the girls sent home, the teacher said.

Shettima told survivors Boko Haram was "better armed" than the Nigerian military and called for more troops to be sent to the state.

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