IGP Mohammed Abubakar
Suspected Islamist gunmen opened fire on residents of a market town in Borno State, killing 18 people in one of the deadliest attacks for several weeks, a local government official said on Tuesday.
The attack late on Monday apparently targeted local hunters in Damboa who sell bush meat from animals such as monkeys and pigs, which strict Muslims are forbidden to eat, the local government leader told journalists.
"Gunmen suspected to be members of BH (Islamist sect Boko Haram) came to the town market and shot dead 13 local hunters on the spot while five others died from their injuries at the hospital," Alhaji Abba Ahmed said.
"They came to the market in a Volkswagen Golf car, carried out the operation and left."
Northern Nigeria has seen a surge in violence in the past week as Boko Haram intensifies operations. Damboa is in the remote northeast, near the borders with Niger, Cameroon and Chad, the sect's heartland, reports Reuters.
Boko Haram's long-bearded members practice a strict Wahhabist version of Islam that sees anyone who disagrees with it as infidels.