ABUJA, June 4 (Xinhua) -- At least 83 lifeless bodies have been found after gunmen invaded three Nigerian villages which share border with Cameroon, a top security source told Xinhua on Wednesday.
The source, who declined to be named, said Attagara, Agapalawa and Aganjara villages in Gwoza local government area of the northeastern state of Borno were under intense attack on Tuesday but the information got to Maiduguri, some 135 km away from the scene of the attacks, on Wednesday, due to poor telecommunication signal.
Wearing military camouflage, the attackers drove through the three villages in vehicles painted in military colors and opened fire on the villagers, said the security source in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State.
"The residents actually thought the gunmen were military personnel. It did not occur to them that they were attackers or Boko Haram fighters," said Ishaya Musa, a resident and petty trader.
According to Musa, more than 83 corpses which littered the area were yet to be buried as of the time of filing this report. He said two of his relatives, who escaped death by the whiskers, had fled to a nearby village to seek refuge.
More bodies might be found as villagers had started combing nearby bushes in search of their loved ones, either displaced due to the attack or killed and injured by the gunmen's bullets, he added.
Three days ago, armed men, also suspected to be members of Boko Haram, opened fire on residents in a church at Attagara, one of the targets of the fresh attack, killing nine people.
Last Thursday, at least 32 residents were killed when armed men stormed a remote village near Nigeria-Cameroon border in the same northeastern state of Borno, according to security officials.
Boko Haram says it seeks to enshrine the Islamic Sharia law in the constitution of Nigeria, Africa's most populous country. The sect recently claimed responsibility for the mid-April abduction of more than 200 school girls in the northeastern state of Borno, which has received tons of condemnation locally and internationally.