MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Suspected Boko Haram suspects have killed 44 people in Dumba Village of northeast Nigeria's Borno State, a top official of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reported on Friday.
The official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the incident, which occurred on Tuesday night, was reported to the agency on Friday morning by residents who sought refuge in Maiduguri, the state capital.
"The residents who fled the troubled area on Wednesday morning and arrived in Maiduguri today (Friday) told us the Boko Haram militants were many and 44 people were killed," said the rescue official, who explained that the incident was not quickly known to the public because of the telecommunication problem in the state.
The fleeing villagers said attackers slit the throats of residents, according to the NEMA official, who noted that telecommunication was cut off by security agencies in the northeast region of Nigeria, following a recent declaration of state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.
Many of the villagers also sustained various degrees of injury, while others, especially the aged among them, developed some health complications, it was reported.
"Houses were burnt by the attackers," the source added.
Xinhua learnt that many of the injured and ill residents are currently receiving treatment from Red Cross officials and other health officials based in Baga, a neighboring town.
When contacted, Lt. Haruna Sani, spokesperson of the Multi- national Joint Task Force of Nigeria, Niger and Chad, told Xinhua to directly contact the Defense Headquarters in Abuja for further information on the incident.
"I have difficulty in reaching my headquarters. I suggest you find out from the defense headquarters, may be they have a true picture of the incident," he said.
Spokesperson of the Defense Headquarters Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade confirmed the incident to reporters on Friday. He, however, said the military only got report that 35 people were killed and 14 others sustained injuries.
Dumba Village is located a few km away from Baga, a border area between Nigeria and Chad.
On Monday, the military said the head of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, may have been killed in a gun battle with Nigerian security forces in Borno State.
He was the highest ranking among the Boko Haram commanders recently announced dead by the military.
Boko Haram, based in northeastern Nigeria, seeks to enshrine the Islamic sharia law in the Constitution, declaring war against Western education. Amid increasing casualties including women and children, President Goodluck Jonathan tried but failed to reach a ceasefire with the sect in April.