Boko Haram fighters killed 13 people in Malari, Nigeria, in a violent attack Sunday, according to witnesses who spoke to Agence France Presse (AFP). The morning attack from the Islamist group also left 27 more injured.
Women and children were among the injured as militants stormed the village and burned houses, local farmer Moha Saleh told AFP. "They also set many houses ablaze after accusing us of telling soldiers their whereabouts," Saleh said, according to AFP. Local vigilante Goni Musa reportedly confirmed the death toll to the Paris-based news agency.
He told AFP that women and children fled to Maiduguri -- the largest town in northeast Nigeria, about 12 miles north of Malari -- while houses and shops burned to the militants' chants of "Allahu Akbar" (God is great). "This morning 13 bodies were recovered. Some had been shot in the back, which means they were fleeing when the terrorists killed them," Musa said to the news agency.
Malari has seen a number of attacks from Boko Haram in recent months. A young female suicide bomber killed 12 worshippers in a Malari mosque in early July during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, AFP reported at the time. Boko Haram's insurgency has killed more 15,000 people since 2009, carrying out attacks and suicide bombings in Nigeria and neighboring countries Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
The recently fired chief of defense said Thursday that the Nigerian military was underfunded and underequipped in its fight against Boko Haram. Nigerian Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh, who was fired by recently elected president Muhammadu Buhari along with the rest of the top military brass, said troops lacked motivation because the military was neglected.
Badeh's comments came after a Nigerian Maj. Gen. Iliya Abbah was named the head of an 8,700-person Multinational Joint Task Force with soldiers from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. The force, created to fight Boko Haram, was expected to be ready soon but did not have a specific start date.