Gunmen riding motorcycles raided the Nigerian village of Dalori near Maiduguri during Saturday night, killing 86 people and setting homes ablaze, officials said. Members of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram burned children alive as part of an assault, a survivor of the attack alleged. Dalori is near the largest camp for those displaced by the terror group's violence, and houses approximately 20,000 people.
"We had just finished evening prayers when the gunmen came to our village and indiscriminately opened fire and set fire to homes," resident Kulo Sheriff told CNN.
In addition to the motorcycles, some militants arrived in golf carts, according to Col. Mustapha Anka, a regional military spokesman, reports WDAM7.
"They detonated two bombs, which added to our fright and confusion. Everybody fled into the bush from where we saw our homes burning," said Sheriff.
Resident Adamu Kyari told CNN they then slept the night in area bushes with no blankets. "We could hear soldiers battling with the Boko Haram attackers. It was terrifying."
As people fled toward to a nearby village, three women in suicide vests tried to make their way into a crowd, a military official told The Associated Press. They "were intercepted and subsequently got blown up."
Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper reported the assault came after claims by government representatives that Boko Haram militants no longer had the ability to carry out such major attacks other than through suicide bombings. Nigeria previously had said that its military drove the extremists out of towns and villages in the region last year.
Mohammed Kanar, area coordinator of Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency, said 86 bodies, many of them charred and riddled with bullets, were collected by Sunday afternoon, reports USA Today.
Abba Musa of the country's State Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri, the largest city in the area, said 62 survivors were being treated for burns.
The militant group has executed attacks for years, according to local sources, trying to impose a stricter enforcement of Sharia law across Africa's most populous nation, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.
Boko Haram groups have bombed schools, churches and mosques; kidnapped women and children; and assassinated politicians and religious leaders. The extremist group based in northern Nigeria killed 6,644 people in 2014, an increase of more than 300 percent from the previous year, according to the latest tally from the Global Terrorism Index.