The insurgent Islamist group Boko Haram raided an army base in northeast Nigeria and massacred around 50 civilians in nearby villages over the weekend, filling a power vacuum in the region after the evacuation of Nigerian troops.
Recent attacks on villages in the region have killed 50 civilians and driven out 15,000 people, Reuters reports, further evidence that international efforts to tackle the Islamist group after its kidnapping of 200 girls earlier this year has failed to curb its violent activities.
The group now can move freely in a region with a major highway linking the northern and southern districts of Borno, bordering Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
Boko Haram is pursing a scorched earth policy, security sources tell Reuters, driving out authorities who do not support their effort to create an Islamic state.
The five-year old insurgent group achieved global notoriety in April when its fighters kidnapped more than 200 girls from a school in the northeastern village of Chibok in April. So far, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has been unable to retrieve them.